Siemens welcomes AES Corporation, Atos and Enel to Charter of Trust cybersecurity initiative |

Siemens welcomes AES Corporation, Atos and Enel to Charter of Trust cybersecurity initiative

Siemens welcomes AES Corporation, Atos and Enel to Charter of Trust cybersecurity initiative

March 9, 2018 - Siemens, and the eight founding Charter of Trust members, welcomed The AES Corporation, Atos and Enel to its global cybersecurity initiative at the 2018 CERAWeek conference in Houston, TX.  With America’s energy hub as its backdrop, cybersecurity is a leading topic of conversation at the conference, as energy is the most attacked segment within U.S. critical infrastructure.

In 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy reported that America’s electricity infrastructure was in “imminent danger” from cyberattacks that are “growing more frequent and sophisticated.”  And, according to a recent report from the Council of Economic Advisors, malicious cyber activity against government and industry cost the U.S. economy between $57 billion and $109 billion in 2016 – approximately one-half of U.S. GDP. 

The Charter of Trust represents a cybersecurity initiative that establishes three primary goals: to protect the data of individuals and businesses; to prevent harm to people, businesses, and infrastructure; and to establish a reliable basis where confidence in a networked, digital world can take root and grow. 

The Charter of Trust was announced at the Munich Security Conference (MSC) in February, and signed by a group of founding companies, including Airbus, Allianz, Daimler Group, IBM, MSC, NXP, SGS and Deutsche Telekom, who called for binding rules and standards to ensure greater digital security and integrity in both the public and private sectors.

As the number of cyberattacks worldwide continues to grow, the hardware and software that control critical infrastructure like electricity and gas have become high-value targets.  A study of the U.S. oil and gas industry by Ponemon Institute found that operational technology (OT) cyberattacks now comprise 30 percent of all attacks in the U.S. oil and gas industry. 

The new Charter of Trust members include The AES Corporation, a Fortune 200 global power company providing energy distribution and generation in 15 countries; Atos, a global leader in digital transformation operating in 72 countries and supporting clients across various business sectors, including energy and utilities; and Enel, Europe’s largest power company for market capitalization, operating in more than 30 countries across five continents.

The Charter outlines ten principles to ensure companies and governments are taking action to address cybersecurity at the highest levels through a dedicated cybersecurity ministry in government and a chief information security officer at companies. It calls for mandatory, independent certification for critical infrastructure where lives are at risk, including in the oil and gas, and power generation and distribution industries, and digital applications across all aspects of IoT. It also affirms that as technologies become increasingly digital and connected, security and data privacy functions should be preconfigured and that cybersecurity regulations should be incorporated into free trade treaties. The Charter’s signatories are also looking for greater efforts to encourage cybersecurity in vocational training and in international initiatives.