Digital Directorship – Cybersecurity: Electrical Grid

Digital Directorship - Cybersecurity: Electrical Grid

The U.S. electric grid is increasingly dependent on the internet for operations, and as a result it is also increasingly susceptible to cyberattacks. It doesn’t take much imagination to see how such attacks might cripple a broad swath of the U.S. economy. When U.S. military planners developed their first air war plan for defeating Axis powers in the summer of 1941, Germany’s electric grid was at the top of the target list.

Cybersecurity standards are lacking in the distribution system, where electricity is delivered to customers and operated by utilities. Since utilities own, operate and generate revenue by operating power resources, they should seek and fund cybersecurity solutions to ensure equipment and electricity availability are not compromised.

Current Blog Topics…

  • Denial of Service
    It’s Starting: The First Cyberattack on the U.S. Grid Reported

    Reports of an unparalleled grid “cyber event” caused a stir in power sector and cybersecurity circles. The grid runs everything. Forget how powerful the Grid is. Think how many other vital infrastructure sectors rely on electricity? Yes, it is everything.

  • North American Electric Reliability Corporation
    Secrecy Reigns as NERC Fines Utilities $10M citing Serious Cyber Risks

    ERC fined a US “regional entity” for 127 violations of the NERC CIP standard. Cyber attacks on the electric grid pose the risk of serious social disruption.

  • a Breakthrough in Cybersecurity Protection
    Finally, a Breakthrough in Cybersecurity Protection

    The breakthrough is TrustWrx . It effectively “firewalls” the entire communications channel.  TrustWrx provides an architecture for secure communications where the fraudsters simply cannot operate. Simply put, if they cannot connect or talk to a server or network, then they cannot hack into it or steal data. 

  • Russian cyberattack wakeup
    Russian cyberattack “should wake us up,” former Air Force officer says

    Earlier this month, the Department of Homeland Security confirmed that Russian hackers have infiltrated the U.S. electric grid. That means they may have the ability to shut down major power plants. The targeted facilities included at least one nuclear power plant and other types of infrastructure as well.

  • What caused Atlanta Airport Power Outage? Officials won’t rule out terrorism.
    What caused Atlanta Airport Power Outage? Officials won’t rule out terrorism.

    Officials still have not determined what sparked the fire that shut down power at the world’s busiest airport, Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International and are reportedly refusing to rule out terrorism.

  • Regan Airport Power Outage
    Power restored at Reagan National after ‘airport wide’ outage

    A power outage plunged much of Reagan National Airport into darkness Wednesday night. Dominion Power is working understand the root cause of that power disruption.

  • Lights Go Out
    New York City sky lights up bright blue after Queens power plant explosion

    A huge explosion at a New York power plant has turned the sky above parts of the city a bright blue-green. Many Manhattanites were stunned when the sky over parts of Queens started to glow a bright neon blue.

  • Lights Go Out
    Did IoT Cyberattacks cause NY Power Transformers to Explode?

    Officials blamed a power surge for the blackout on Dec. 28th that left LaGuardia airport in the dark for about 45 minutes, grounding flights. A look at the trend of power outages at American airports shows a disturbing pattern and possibly sinister cause…cyberattacks.

  • Cyberwar predictions
    Cyberwar predictions for 2019: The stakes have been raised

    Cybersecurity will define many of the international conflicts of the future. Here’s an overview of the current threat landscape.

  • Russian Hackers Haven't Stopped
    Russian Hackers Haven’t Stopped Probing the US Power Grid

    In recent years, hacks against the power grid have gone from a mostly theoretical risk to a real-world problem. Two large-scale blackouts in Ukraine caused by Russian cyberattacks in 2015 and 2016 showed just how feasible it is. Russia’s continues to probe US critical infrastructure alarming.

  • Airforce Cyber Deception
    Russians Hacked into America’s Electric Grid. Here’s Why Securing It Is Hard.

    The Department of Homeland Security has recently disclosed new details about the extent to which Russia has infiltrated “critical infrastructure” like American power plants, water facilities and gas pipelines.

  • Cyber risks can come in direct strikes targeted toward electrical grid or other crucial infrastructure which may impact the operations or safety of this grid. Cyber risk of the grid are intrusions concentrated on manipulating industrial management system networks.

  • How vulnerable is the grid to cyberattacks
    How vulnerable is the grid to cyberattacks, really?

    The very real possibility of localized action is out there, but the grid is not going down tomorrow, next year, or anytime in the near future. This highly protective article may be quite misleading in its positive outlook.

  • Protect the Energy Grid
    How To Protect the Connected Energy Grid

    A March 2017 MIT report found that both electricity and oil-and-gas industry leaders “believed that unduly complex, and insufficiently secure, hardware, software, and industrial controls were a significant source of cyber vulnerabilities.”

  • Cyberattacks Put Russian Fingers on the Switch
    Cyberattacks Put Russian Fingers on the Switch at Power Plants, U.S. Says

    This is a rather amazing article published in New York Times that establishes and documents varioius foreign countries hacking of US utlities. It is rather alarming! And, establishes the need for significantly improved security.

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