Proposed updates to Australia’s Security of Critical Infrastructure (SOCI) ACT 2018 are set to impose new and enhanced cyber security obligations for Energy & Utilities organisations, among other systems of national significance.
As decarbonisation, decentralisation, and digitisation continue to cause disruption and accelerate the rapid transformation of the Energy & Utilities sector, cyber security threats are also growing. The proposed SOCI updates aim to reduce security risks and maintain operations of critical systems.
Cloud migration can significantly enhance cyber security posture through access to public cloud providers’ enhanced security features. As a result, many organisations are fast-tracking their digital transformation plans, choosing to vacate data centre environments and migrate to public cloud.
However, ensuring successful migration while maintaining (and ultimately improving) security is not a straightforward process. The migration itself can create security gaps, while the overall outcomes and benefits of cloud (including cyber security) are directly tied to the migration and modernisation approach.
Here we discuss how Energy & Utilities organisations can ensure their transformation strategies strategically uplift their cyber security posture and share examples of how organisations are leveraging expertise to successfully increase business resilience while maximising cloud migrations.
Enhanced security capabilities through cloud
Within the next two years, it’s expected over 50% of organisations in the Energy & Utilities sector will have formally adopted cloud . Initially, cloud strategies were a response to a range of growing challenges, including increasing time to market, attracting, and retaining talent, managing data, and poor flexibility and agility.
This has since been joined by increasing cyber security requirements as cyber threats and reports of massive data breaches continue to grow year-on-year. Critical services like Energy & Utilities are some of the most common targets for these attacks.
It’s no surprise then that cyber security has become one of the top reasons for cloud migration, with many organisations rating it in their top two deciding factors. And for a good reason – cloud offers multiple enhanced security features, including:
- Robust access control
- Threat detection and response capabilities
- Regular updates and patching
- Disaster recovery and business continuity features
- Compliance with industry standards and regulations
There are also wider benefits that can be achieved. When cyber security, digital transformation and cloud migration are approached as a cohesive and integrated journey, Energy & Utilities organisations are able to differentiate themselves and benefit from increased business and technology resilience.
But achieving this requires the right framework backed by the right expertise.
What good looks like: ATCO x SXiQ
ATCO is a leading provider of integrated energy, housing, transportation, and infrastructure solutions that employs approximately 6,500 people and holds assets worth $22 billion. On a strategic journey to become a digital utility organisation, ATCO recently chose to undertake a significant migration from its co-location data centre service to Microsoft Azure cloud.
They had two defined goals for the project:
- Improve responsiveness and consistency of service
- Eliminate cyber security concerns and improve system performance, reliability and availability
ATCO understood that to ensure a successful migration, modernisation and optimisation that was highly transformative, highly automated and delivered with zero-business disruption, it was vital to work with an experienced partner in their cloud transformation journey. Proven expertise would be required if their extensive digital transformation project could be expected to deliver the host of benefits they were expecting.
Through existing relationships with IBM, ATCO brought in the expertise of SXiQ to assist with their migration and modernisation journey.
Investing in this partnership and combining digital transformation, migration, and cyber security will allow ATCO to simplify their IT support environment by reducing the complexity of managing IT assets across multiple locations, eliminating hardware management, and providing scalability and standardisation.
Improved backup reliability and system availability, along with Azure’s enhanced security features, will improve ATCO’s cybersecurity posture.
Read the full scope of SXiQ’s project with ATCO here.
Incorporating cyber resilience into your digital strategies
A successful cloud strategy helps your organisation create a flexible and clear path to specific business outcomes, enable resiliency and re-conceive how it operates to be more agile, secure, and competitive.
Meeting growing cyber security obligations as part of digital transformation strategies is much more than implementing security features as an add-on. Organisations that can utilise cloud to modernise IT infrastructure, deliver smarter, more innovative services and drive innovation across business units to increase the ability to scale at speed will achieve better resilience and security position.
SXiQ has a proven track record in transforming organisations’ legacy data centres into enterprise cloud architectures. Our deep understanding of complex technology environments and industry-proven capability has helped some of Australia’s leading Energy and Utility providers migrate and modernise their cloud infrastructure, middleware, and application stack.
With a cloud transformation partner like SXiQ, organisations can achieve digital transformation strategy while incorporating cyber security to meet new obligations.
To learn more about how SXiQ can assist your digital transformation and migration projects, contact us!