TOPIC OF THE MONTH: Global nuclear sector unprepared for cyber-attacks

Industry urged to boost its readiness in the event of a threat.

UK thinktank Chatham House recently published a report investigating nuclear power plants and cybersecurity events on a global scale and revealed that the nuclear industry is not ready to handle and tackle large-scale cybersecurity attacks. This is despite a growing likeliness for these threats to occur on both small-scale and large-scale scenarios.

In its 18-month long examination, Chatham House said that cyber security risk is growing as nuclear facilities
become increasingly reliant on digital systems and make increasing use of commercial ‘off-the-shelf’ software,
which offers considerable cost savings but increases vulnerability to hacking attacks.

On an industry level, the report points out that the infrequency of cyber security incident disclosure at nuclear facilities makes it difficult to assess the true extent of the problem and may lead nuclear industry personnel to believe that there are few incidents.

This suggests that the industry’s risk assessment may be inadequate; as a consequence, there is often insufficient spending on cyber security.

"Developing countries may be particularly at risk, because they have even fewer resources available to invest in cyber security," the report warned.

The full report may be viewed here: https://www.chathamhouse.org/sites/files/chathamhouse/field/field_docume...