BBA, a Montreal-based engineering and consulting firm, has won a contract from Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) to help strengthen and protect the country’s energy systems from cyberattacks.
As part of the $160,000 contract, BBA will “develop a model to help companies identify, assess and manage cyber risks associated with operational equipment,” according to a press release from NRCan. The project will also help energy companies boost their cyberattack resilience and response plans.
The project is part of NRCan’s Cyber Security and Critical Energy Infrastructure Program, which in 2018 received $2.42 million over five years from the federal government to upgrade the digital security of domestic and cross-border energy infrastructure.
The increasing digitalization of energy grids allows further avenues for hostile state and non-state actors to compromise a country’s economy and security. One of the first successful cyberattacks on an energy grid was recorded in December 2015 in Ukraine, when probable Russian state hackers downed 30 substations, leaving approximately 230,000 people without electricity for 1 to 6 hours in the dead of winter.
“More than ever, businesses are turning to digital technologies to make their operations smarter and more efficient – new technologies that surely bring great opportunities, but also carry their own set of risks,” said André Allaire, president of BBA. “It is with great pride that we were chosen by NRCan for our cyber security expertise and continue to be enthusiastic in helping raise awareness about the importance of protecting company operations, as well as workers, communities and the environment.”
BBA’s engineering, project, environmental, and field services consultants help power, oil & gas, mining & metals, industrial, and government sector clients solve challenges in a diverse range of areas. The company has completed numerous consulting projects across mining engineering, oil & gas commissioning and field services, industrial automation, power systems design, and renewable energy, among other areas.
The company’s industrial cybersecurity practice supports clients with risk analyses, incident response plans, and cybersecurity governance, engineering, and operation.
BBA was founded in 1979 and has approximately 1,000 employees across Canada.