Federal regulators have stepped up oversight of the security of the nation’s power utilities as they work to safeguard the grid from threats and incidents such as widespread, long-duration blackouts caused by digital saboteurs.
While utility enterprises are taking steps to detect and deter physical security threats, preventing damage and enabling recovery remain significant challenges, according to The State of Physical Grid Security 2015.
As Hurricane Iselle barreled down on the island of Oahu in early August, Alexander Ubiadas was prepared. He had already invested in ruggedized security equipment at isolated facilities, built long-term recovery plans and worked with his staff to get facilities as ready as possible for the storm. Because while people might survive for a while without electricity, they truly need safe, clean water, no matter the weather.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has rejected a proposal to improve electric grid security, sending the proposal back to the North American Electric Reliability Corp. for revision. The group must strengthen its rules about how utilities should assess and protect power substations and systems, the ruling says.
An April attack on Silicon Valley’s phone lines and power grid was terrorism, according to former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission chairman Jon Wellinghoff said Wednesday. The FBI has released multiple statements that is has found no indications to support this claim, but Wellinghoff says he reached his conclusion after consulting with Defense Department experts about the attack, which involved snipping AT&T fiber-optic lines to knock out phone and 911 service, and firing shots into a PG&E substation, causing outages, an Associated Press article reports.
Disguised as authentic utility workers, a band of copper thieves dug up and stole nearly £280,000-worth of redundant cabling from locations all around London, many of which were leaked through at least one crooked BT employee.
Our August issue cover story features Steve Baker, CSO at State Street Corporation. Also in August, how did a Guidewell Security team member save a life? And learn how digital technology and IoT devices can combat both physical and cyberattacks.