Elevating Cybersecurity for Energy Industries: The Necessity of Modernizing Legacy Systems

Elevating Cybersecurity for Energy Industries: The Necessity of Modernizing Legacy Systems

As the energy and utilities industry increasingly incorporate Internet of Things (IoT) technologies into their operations, the cybersecurity stakes are rising in parallel. This sector's critical infrastructure is under constant threat from cybercriminals, with legacy systems presenting vulnerabilities due to their outdated security protocols. Microsoft's security suite, including Defender for IoT and Sentinel, offers robust defense mechanisms to address to these industry challenges.

The Escalating Cyber Threat

Cyberattacks on the energy sector are on the rise, with a report from Cybersecurity Ventures predicting that global cybercrime costs will reach $10.5 trillion annually by 2025, a stark increase from previous years. This trend underscores the critical need for advanced cybersecurity solutions capable of thwarting a growing range of cyber threats.

The reliance on legacy systems within the energy and utilities sector also continues to be a significant security concern. These systems were designed in a less connected era, and therefore lack the robust security features required to mitigate against modern cyber threats. The integration of modern IoT devices with these legacy systems introduces additional complexities, making the sector's valuable infrastructure even more susceptible to cyberattacks.

The Role of Microsoft in Comprehensive Cybersecurity

Customers in this industry often come to BDO operating on outdated, unsecure, or disparate legacy systems. To address these security and operational concerns, BDO commonly recommends Microsoft Defender for IoT to secure its mix of legacy and IoT systems. This deployment can lead to the discovery of multiple security vulnerabilities that would have otherwise gone undetected, including unauthorized access attempts. To help support security monitoring, having a proper Zero Trust architecture/approach is equally as important. By leveraging a combination of Zero Trust and Defender for IoT, organizations can proactively address these issues, preventing potential cyberattacks and reinforcing the security of its critical infrastructure.

Microsoft Sentinel also stands out as a pivotal component of a holistic cybersecurity strategy, offering advanced SIEM capabilities that allow for real-time threat detection and response. By aggregating and analyzing data from various sources, Sentinel can provide a comprehensive overview of an organization's security landscape, facilitating the early identification of potential threats.

Leveraging MSSPs for Enhanced Security

Managing and responding to cyber threats can be a complex and time-consuming process for many organizations, which is why the consideration of leveraging a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) can be another critical step towards an elevated cyber strategy. MSSPs can significantly enhance an organization's cybersecurity capabilities by offering specialized detection, monitoring, and response services. With the support of an MSSP, energy and utility companies can benefit from 24/7 security expertise, ensuring that potential threats are identified and mitigated promptly. This relationship allows organizations to maximize the benefits of Microsoft Sentinel, leveraging the MSSP's expertise to fine-tune threat detection algorithms and enhance overall security posture.

For organizations looking for a provider to help manage the complexities of always-on security monitoring, Active Protect is a prime example of a fully integrated, cloud-native solution that is comprised of people, processes, and technology that are working together 24x7x365 to safeguard energy and utility organizations from adversaries.



The integration of IoT technologies with legacy systems within the energy and utilities sector can often create a complex cybersecurity landscape. Microsoft's Defender for IoT and Sentinel’s powerful tools can address these challenges, offering comprehensive protection for critical infrastructure. The addition of MSSP support further strengthens this defense, providing the expertise and continuous monitoring necessary to navigate the evolving threat environment. 

By adopting these advanced security measures, energy and utility companies can safeguard their operations against cyber threats, ensuring the reliability and security of their critical infrastructure in the digital age. BDO Digital can help you get started with a complimentary Active Protect consultation today.