cyber threats

Utilities in Africa are trying to implement cyber threat initiatives as an after thought outside their normal operations. According to Sfiso Tshabalala, senior manager at Accenture in South Africa, this does prove effective.

Speaking to ESI Africa at African Utility Week last month, Tshabalala said: “It is like buying your latest Ferrari from a panel beating shop.”

Tshabalala called for utilities to put more focus in cybersecurity and ensure they put their best dollar on their high risk and high value assets.

“They need to direct more of their CAPEX investments into trying to deal with cyber threats and not wait until when they actually hit.”

Increasing cybersecurity focus would also mean positions such as chief technology officer are being taken seriously, for instance reporting directly to the utility CEOs.

He added that utilities can also partner with solution providers in research, development and testing of new security technologies able to withstand or get rid of new threats.

In addition to the lack of utility focus on cybersecurity and ICT in Africa, Tshabalala said lack of funding is hindering increased on cybersecurity solutions by energy providers in Africa.

He said majority of utilities in the region are public sector owned and investing in new technologies within the sector has not been much of a priority.