Among the many paths that hackers take to break into utilities' enterprise networks, one attack vector is used more frequently than any other. That vector is, ironically, the very set of tools that information technology (IT) professionals use to provide tech support - remote access systems. Securing these channels requires updated technology - as well as a best-practices approach to providing support.

Utilities don't always invest in updating outdated or legacy technology, leaving some older doors wide open for cyber-attacks on their network.

The conversation regarding IT security is shifting. Until recently, most of the major hacking incidents were conducted by financially-motivated hackers out to steal proprietary data. They often targeted large retail companies that store thousands of credit card records, such as the highly-publicized T.J. Maxx data breach in 2007. But today hacktivism and cyber terrorism are growing as real threats to both public and private organizations. Because hacktivists are motivated by creating disruption versus financial gain, public utilities have been pushed further into the spotlight as potential targets. Read more.