Keeping Customer Data Properly Secured
Online security is a growing concern for businesses all across the country and the utilities industry is no exception.
Utility providers store massive amounts of customer data, which is why it's increasingly important to protect that information from security breaches and identity thieves.
Here are just a few measures the utility industry is taking to protect customer data.
Software Updates and Virus Scans
The first line of defense in terms of online security is vigilance. Utility providers in the United States are practicing vigilance and protecting their customers' data by performing software updates on a regular basis.
These automated updates take place on a weekly or monthly basis and keep all devices updated with the latest security software.
Likewise, utilities companies also perform routine virus scans on all devices within the network. This includes any device introduced to the system such as flash drives or mobile devices. Virus scans help utility providers find any malware or other malicious software in the system that could compromise customer data.
Many utility providers in the United States are putting online safety measures first by having security audits performed on their network. Security audits ensure that customer data stays safe, secure and private.
As this article looks at, considering that privacy has been a concern in the United States since the very beginning, security audits give utility companies— and their customers— peace of mind.
These audits help utility providers prevent potential security threats by making sure systems and devices are as up-to-date as possible.
Encryption is one of the most important aspects of data security and it all starts with passwords. When information is encrypted, the data is converted into a text that's impossible for unauthorized users to decipher. Encrypted data requires the use of a password to access and every major utility provider in the country password protects their customers' data.
Passwords are also required on the customer's end in order to access online documents or to make online utilities payments through a private account.
Employee Security Protocol
Utility companies employ hundreds of workers, most of whom have access to the network. This presents a security threat, especially if employees don't practice the right safety protocol when it comes to logging into their employee accounts on workplace and personal computers.
Because of the threats involved, utility suppliers are implementing security protocol so employees don't accidently cause a security breach. Security protocols usually inform employees on everything from password usage to accessing the network via personal mobile devices to proper procedures for logging out of the network.
Customer data is only as strong as the passwords that protect it, which is why utility providers are encouraging customers and staff to create the strongest passwords possible. Most utility companies use strength indicators during the password creation process to give users a better understanding of their password strength.
In addition, utilities companies are also requiring employees to change their passwords on a regular basis as well as encouraging customers not to use the same password for multiple accounts. When it comes to online security, utilities providers are doing all they can to protect their customers' data.
About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including technology and online security.
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.