Are you in the midst of your procurement process to reengage or onboard a next-generation technology partner? If so, you are at a critical juncture in your digital journey. No longer can your business strategy be simply about scaling operations but must now focus on making cybersecurity a fundamental part of your day-to-day business ethics and work life. Our work with European energy clearing houses, multiple technology partners and utility giants has given us insights and can help you understand the quickly rising threats faced in IT security and infrastructure. These may also help your organization remain resilient while operating at scale. Cybersecurity: The axis in your business strategy From my experience, companies face multiple challenges pertaining to infrastructure security while overall transaction demands increase. You need a technology partner who is committed to helping you secure your infrastructure and protect your data. I was on a team of cybersecurity experts working on a project for a European energy clearing house. During re-procurement, they realized the importance of security as central to their strategy and not as an afterthought. As a result, they changed their objectives and refocused it on security as a fundamental aspect of their design and operations, to be embedded in every aspect of their business. The key to a successful cybersecurity plan is to pivot from a pure business scaling approach to a robust cyber resilience program. Demonstrating excellence in European energy The key to a successful cybersecurity plan is to pivot from a pure business scaling approach to a robust cyber resilience program. In a recent project, I was able to see this change deliver tangible results. An energy clearing house is a critical infrastructure organization and major player in a country’s energy market. It is responsible for managing the wholesale electricity market, where it handles billions of transactions each day. As energy markets have become more complex and interconnected due to advancements such as the introduction of home EV charging, this organization has had to scale up their operations to meet rising customer demands. The migration or upgrading from one technology stack to another one would increase functionality and usefulness of generated and available data to other organizations such as municipalities and EV charging companies. However, this increase in new connections also increases the risk of a cyberthreat, so it was critical to enhance security across the network. Key take aways from this transformation are as follows: Security cannot be an afterthought. It must be embedded in every aspect of the organization’s operations, from the design of its technology infrastructure to the training of its employees. During its re-procurement, the clearing house is focused on looking for not just a technology partner that can deliver technology, but one that is able to implement the secure-by-design principle. The technology partner chosen must be able to demonstrate the ability to deliver security services that show an improvement in security maturity over time. They cannot take a compliance ‘tick box’ approach, as threats will keep evolving and the organization needs to be adaptable to meet new and emerging changes in the threat landscape. The clearing house needs to have a joint comprehensive security program in place. This program should be a shared endeavor between both the clearing house and the technology partner where both have common goals of providing security. Boost your resilience The experience of this organization offers valuable lessons for others. As such companies scale up, they need to be mindful of the security challenges that they will inevitably face. By choosing a strategic cybersecurity approach and mandating the secure-by-design principle, energy clearing houses can be assured that their security posture is robust and resilient to meet the evolving threat landscape, even as they scale their operations. Security must be a strategic organizational objective, not something they expect to be a focus for the technology provider alone. A technology partner you can trust If you are aiming to scale and secure your organization, but are still contemplating how to go about it, please feel free to reach out to me for an in-depth discussion. Share and learn how other energy companies implement the secure-by-design principle to aid you as you navigate your digital transformation.