Report: Utilities need a common cybersecurity plan

While it is obvious that the utilities industry move to IP creates new cybersecurity threats, a group of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers think that any plan to battle these issues should be done by one federal government agency.

Researchers argue in the report issued this week that even if there's no foolproof way to ensure the power grid will never suffer an attack, they believe one agency overseeing these issues would be more efficient than having various federal, state and local agencies that are currently involved in protecting the electric grid today.

Covering the needs of the electric grid through 2030, the researchers said that this agency would work with electric utility companies and have "regulatory authority" to address cybersecurity preparedness, response and recovery.

In addition addressing traditional energy sources, the report outlines the way to deal with renewable energy sources including wind and solar power by giving the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission more oversight over transmission sources that serve customers in multiple states.

MIT's report comes on the heels of a report last month that the failure of a water pump in Illinois was the result of an apparent cyberattack. The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI revealed a few days later that there was no evidence of an attack.

For more:
- Reuters has this article

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