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Synack Powers the Energy Sector with Continuous, Strategic Pentesting

May 2023
Justine Desmond
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In the modern age, the energy sector spans electricity, oil and natural gas and collectively it’s a nearly $124 billion industry. These energy products are transported through vein-like pipelines to homes and businesses across the United States, while the supply chain that underpins the industry is a complex web of public and private sector entities. It might feel like an episode of Dark Mirror or the latest thriller starring Liam Neeson when imagining a security threat bringing down an electric grid, stopping a train or causing the price of oil to suddenly spike. 

But as the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack proved in 2021, that day is no longer just a movie plot. Energy companies need to be more vigilant and proactive than ever. Which assets are internet-facing and could act as a point of ingress for an attacker? How are companies handling sensitive data of customers or intellectual property? Are suppliers secure, too, or could they introduce a supply chain vulnerability

Synack provides strategic security testing that can help guide your organization toward a more secure future. Most companies face regulations that require an annual penetration test, but while a best practice for compliance, these tests often fail to provide actionable data to truly strengthen your security posture overtime. 

Threats to the Energy Sector Are On the Rise

Nation-state actors including Russia are targeting energy infrastructure to steal intellectual property, disrupt economic prosperity or to retaliate for actions elsewhere on the globe. In one case, four Russian government employees were recently indicted for targeting the global energy sector. 

Additionally, a McKinsey report noted an increasing number of cyber criminals are targeting critical infrastructure for profit. One assessment of a Puerto Rican Utility company concluded that tampering with smart meters in consumer-facing devices could lead to revenue losses of $400 million per year.

Finally, the distributed nature of the energy sector means that there’s a greater attack surface than in other industries. The U.S. has 2.6 million miles of pipelines that deliver oil and natural gas to our homes and businesses; energy companies in some cases are managing thousands of suppliers. This increases the chances of vulnerabilities going unaddressed or detected. 

How Transformational Security Testing Can Help 

Synack provides a premier security testing platform that can help organizations make strategic security decisions based on testing data and insights.

– Synack can test IT systems, a core part of the energy sector, including networks, web and mobile applications, the cloud and APIs.
– The Synack Red Team (SRT), an elite community of 1,500 security researchers, provides a real attacker’s perspective with tactics, techniques and procedures similar to what’s seen in real world scenarios. The SRT also provides retesting to make sure vulnerabilities have been adequately addressed for remediation.
– Synack allows for visibility into all of your assessments in one place, so you know in real-time when a critical or high vulnerability is found, the remediation status of all your vulnerabilities and the current coverage of your attack surface (what, when and how assets are tested).
– Synack compiles actionable data to help you identify the root cause of vulnerabilities, including the frequency of certain types of vulnerabilities like cross-site scripting across all your assessments. These insights can help solve endemic vulnerabilities and assist with training dev teams.
– Synack also provides third-party testing and OSINT for suppliers, which can help to address the issue of managing a complex supply chain.
– Finally, Synack gives an overall risk score for your organization based on testing data and benchmarks your organization against others with others in the same industry. Synack uses the same risk scoring methodology to rank your assets and assessments from weakest to strongest.

Synack currently works with a number of the top energy companies globally and The Synack Platform helps to solve a number of business problems that companies in the energy industry are facing from supply chain management to staying one step ahead of sophisticated adversaries.