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Stepping into the Future of Cyber - Energy, Resources & Industrials

Deloitte’s 2023 Global Future of Cyber Survey reveals that cyber increasingly plays a foundational role in delivering business outcomes. For energy, resources and industrial (ER&I) organisations, the quality of those outcomes will depend on how well decision-makers secure their business through a strategic “zero trust” approach as their connected system landscapes grow.

These five highlights provide a glimpse into where energy, resources and industrial organisations are now—and where they are going.

Becoming cyber-ready

How can energy, resources and industrial organisations prepare for an evolving cyber landscape? The following five insights and corresponding actions, based on Deloitte’s experience and our survey findings, can provide a starting point for navigating the future of cyber.

Insights to inspire and actions to consider:

1. Spending realities are sinking in. Across the C-suite and boardrooms, leaders are coming to the realisation that cyber spending cannot be a one-time or short-term investment. It should be a steady annual commitment, though the exact spending range may flex from year to year. Emerging cyber regulation can remove management discretion and create tension in use of funds (e.g., compliance vs. risk reduction).

Know your number. Cyber is a constant need. Develop a consistent annual spending baseline—to address essential needs and support ongoing innovation. It can help you embed cyber continuously across your business and manage stakeholder expectations.

2. Cyber talent is becoming scarce. Skilled cyber specialists are in high demand and many will gravitate towards employers in industries they perceive as more attractive or sustainable. Our survey data shows that training and certification programmes are the number one strategy within ER&I. Organisations should continue to expect increased difficulty attracting and retaining talent.

Put AI to work for your organisation. Artificial intelligence can provide a strategic solution for talent shortages. Supplement AI by considering which services to source in-house and which to outsource. These options can assist with proactive identification and action of cyber issues, including threats.

3. Digitalisation is big and getting bigger Industry has made great strides in digitalisation and survey data shows cloud, AI and data analytics among top transformation priorities. There is growing interest in emerging technologies, including quantum, blockchain and digital twin. Meanwhile, privatised critical infrastructure assets come with massive technical debt and no guarantees for funding of updated cyber controls.

Bring together OT, IT and cyber planners early and often. As OT and IT continue to converge from an IT perspective, cyber becomes more critical. Do not let it be an afterthought. As you make infrastructure plans, ensure that cyber leaders are part of the conversation from the beginning.

4. The intersection of OT and IT is still a key improvement opportunity. While many ER&I organisations have bolstered security for their operational technologies—and how they connect with IT and digital processes—cyber breaches consistently affect OT systems and processes. Organisations of all sizes realise that security is integral to creating products and that they have more work to do.

Be more strategic about your suppliers. Cyberattacks are part of modern society and the reach has expanded to include critical businesses—making supplier reliability a top concern. As the network of potential suppliers change, understand their cyber posture.

5. Securing the supply chain offers a business advantage. Physical and software supply chains are increasingly dependent on digitalisation, the integrity of the nth parties, and the ability to manage cyber risk—often the result of market events, natural disasters, or regional conflict, as well as cyberattacks. Organisations that make supply chains more cyber-secure gain an edge for their suppliers, customers and internal processes, reducing and easing stakeholders’ concerns.

Know how you will measure cyber impact. Our survey reveals that, as a whole, the ER&I industry is slightly ahead of other industries on cyber planning and activities. Make a realistic and true evaluation of your organisation’s posture. Identify the data, KPIs and results you need to be truly cyber-confident.

To get a broader view of the cyber landscape, explore additional insights from the Deloitte 2023 Global Future of Cyber Survey, which asked 1,110 leaders across industries and across the globe to share their views on cyber threats, enterprise activities, and the future.