As the world witnesses the first large-scale cyber war in history, Ukrainian energy companies such as DTEK are on the front lines of the battle. For the Ukrainian economy to prosper and grow, it needs reliable critical infrastructure such as electricity, water, gas, and other assets that keep production going. Ongoing attacks on critical infrastructure, especially power plants, further deteriorate the economic outlook. Companies providing vital services like electricity are under great pressure to re-establish their operations after being ravaged by targeted missile attacks.
DTEK Group, a diversified energy holding company that includes six businesses, had to adapt to war conditions quickly. The conglomerate is the largest private investor in Ukraine’s energy sector. More than 5.5 million households and commercial consumers in Ukraine depend on DTEK’s ability to provide electricity during wartime. Since February, a swift business transformation was accomplished within the company to address new daily challenges like power plant damage and electricity outages.
Today, DTEK’s main priorities are to ensure the safety of employees and the stability of business operations, as well as to quickly restore destroyed energy infrastructure to keep the lights and heat on in millions of Ukrainians’ houses. “Energy facilities are a crucial part of critical infrastructure, as their reliable operation is the basis for a stable economy. Stable business operation of energy sector requires not only physical security, but highly robust cybersecurity,” said Dmytro Osyka, CIO of DTEK Group, Head of Digital Transformation Program at DTEK.
Strengthening the security shield against cyber threats
To ensure business continuity and increase resistance to cyber threats, the company upgraded its system safety and relied on the Microsoft Azure to strengthen its security posture. At DTEK, which has 60,000 employees, making secure online decisions is the responsibility of every worker. The company’s cyber infrastructure is protected by a dedicated IT team that fights off cyberattacks aiming to destabilize operations.
“With Microsoft Azure we were able to ensure the operation of IT systems and solutions conveniently and safely for our business. Azure also helped maintain security and stability in difficult conditions. Multifactor authentication (MFA) is also of extreme importance to DTEK. It adds a layer of protection to our sign-in process since cyberattacks and hacking attempts continue. The security of data and access to our systems is of utmost importance,” explained Osyka.
The importance of technological readiness
Before the war, DTEK was already working to accelerate its digital transformation to become the first digital energy company in the next four to five years. The company has already completed many projects to digitalize logistics, human resources, networks, and thermal power plants.
Overall, DTEK’s technological readiness was imperative in the company’s current ability to quickly implement new technological solutions. “Going digital is the key to a successful future in a new, dynamically changing world full of risks, volatility, and uncertainty. Digital transformation is a matter of business survival and competitiveness. It is not a luxury, but a necessary condition for business protection and development,” noted Osyka.
Looking toward a brighter, greener future
While continuing to work with other Ukrainian energy companies to restore the country’s power grid, DTEK never ceases to look towards the future. The company is ever mindful of its role in re-building Ukraine. In light of this, DTEK is not only focused on the Ukrainian economy – but also its environment.
“This war underlined the importance of energy independence for Ukraine and the European Union, and renewable energy will play a key role in that process in the future. We are focused on implementing renewable energy projects even in the midst of war, in line with our commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040,” commented Osyka.
DTEK consistently advocates for Ukraine to prioritize renewable energy production and fulfil its potential in becoming a leader of sustainability in Europe. Looking past the war, the energy giant plans to play a key role in a peaceful, successful future that also brings the environment to the fore.