Sustainability and green initiatives have become increasingly important for companies in recent years. While companies are implementing many environmentally friendly activities and policies, there is increasing pressure to take positive steps regarding technology and IT equipment.
Sustainability reports are considered the norm in many companies. With new patterns of remote or hybrid workinghowever, green companies strive to do more by sourcing eco-friendly products, identifying energy-efficient equipment (and processes), and investing in renewable energy.
But online security is another important area that many organizations overlook.
As businesses expand and become more collaborative and connected through technology, their critical systems must remain secure. Can this strategy really be considered energy efficient?
Related: A job in this industry isn’t just in demand in 2023 – our future depends on it
How much energy your technology consumes
The energy consumption of IT equipment, computers, servers and thousands of other IoT (Internet of Things) devices is notoriously lacking in measurable data. a white paper of The Shift Project summarized that digital technologies are essential in the global effort to end dependence on fossil fuels. But the energy impact of this growing use could cause a ‘net increase’ in the carbon footprint of sectors.
It is almost impossible to estimate the use of each device as it pertains to a company’s efforts to conserve energy. An even bigger challenge is estimating electricity consumption when securing devices, networks and systems. In addition, you also need to calculate energy costs to protect a company’s IT equipment against cyber-attacks.
Technical experts will usually be the first to highlight how energy efficient modern digital devices and systems are within a company. Meanwhile, there is a counter-argument that the share of the IT industry in energy consumption is high and total production emission levels comparable to those of global transportation.
Despite the evidence that IT and cybersecurity cannot be considered 100% green and renewable, it is only fair to applaud the industry’s efforts to find renewable resources. Modern digital technology can optimize how more energy-intensive activities can be performed.
Protect your cybersecurity
It’s easy to overlook the amount of energy used in the day-to-day operation of essential appliances, devices and systems, whether for work, school or personal pleasure.
All of these everyday devices emit energy, including mobile phones, computers, water heaters, washing machines, lamps or heating systems, and the reality is that all of these devices necessary. The adequate and appropriate protection of these devices is also crucial and fundamental to their successful operation and synchronicity.
The risk of cyber threats has only grown and become more serious over the years. Cyber threats range from financial crime, ransomware, DDoS (distributed denial of service) and malware to hacking secure networks and systems to gain access to sensitive information.
The threat landscape remains volatile for companies across all industries, and ironically the energy sector is particularly sensitive. Cybercriminals can be financially, economically or politically motivated, with attacks severely disrupting operations. Not only day-to-day activities and operations, but also long-term strategic ones.
Recently, cybersecurity firm Redscan surveyed 180 CFOs, CEOs and other finance executives worldwide about cybersecurity. The results showed an “overconfidence” around cyber risk, it said Mark NicholsChief Research Officer of Redscan.
“Nearly 87% of executives surveyed expressed this confidence, yet 61% of them had experienced at least three significant cyber incidents in the past 18 months,” he said.
Businesses taking steps to improve global energy efficiency can be severely hampered if they don’t implement proper security controls to protect networks and infrastructure.
Just ignoring cybersecurity is not an option, so what can companies do to ensure that this requirement is met in a way that does not hinder their energy savings?
Improving energy efficiency through technology
Investing in environmentally friendly technology is one of the most effective ways a company can save more energy. This can range from small adjustments such as LED lighting, green switches and smart heating controls to large-scale systems such as wind turbines, solar panels, geothermal energy or plans for water conservation.
The widespread use of energy-efficient technologies requires companies to consider future cyber needs. Building owners will likely need to upgrade IT infrastructure to accommodate modern security, so they should be supported to ensure that all changes are handled with excellent care and attention to energy conservation.