Grid Security

  • Many utilities are focused on cyber risks, and they end up with very different risk-assessment results.

    Cyber Risk
    Mar 18, 2014 | Andrew Ginter

    At a large utility earlier this month, for example, an executive said, "We don't have a security problem: we have a compliance problem." Utilities like this put lawyers in charge of their NERC-CIP security programs, not security experts. At a different utility, another executive said, "We know there will be a 'first big cyber incident' in this industry. We are determined not to be that first victim." This second utility is deploying both strong cyber security and strong physical security systems. Why are there such discrepancies?

  • The Need for Consensus

    Mar 02, 2014 | Martin Rosenberg

    New laws are needed to spur greater information sharing in the private sector and between business and government, according Mike McConnell, former direction of the U.S. National Security Agency. McConnell told EnergyBiz in an exclusive interview that the utility industry is just at the beginning of such information-sharing efforts.

    McConnell will keynote the EnergyBiz Securing Power Forum in Washington on Tuesday. He is former White House national intelligence director and currenty vice chairman of Booz Allen Hamilton. His comments were edited for style and length.

  • Business and Government Must Unite

    Feb 23, 2014 | Martin Rosenberg

    The United States government and industry must get more aligned to safeguard vital infrastructure from devastating cyberattacks, according Mike McConnell, former direction of the U.S. National Security Agency. Today’s rules and safeguards are dated and were designed to meet threats that no longer exist, McConnell told EnergyBiz in an exclusive interview.

    McConnell will keynote the EnergyBiz Securing Power Forum in Washington on March 4. He is former White House national intelligence director and currenty vice chairman of Booz Allen Hamilton. His comments were edited for style and length.

  • Wellinghoff on the Ramifications of Metcalf Assault

    Jon Wellinghoff
    Feb 16, 2014 | Martin Rosenberg

    Utilities and political leaders reacted with alarm this month when news accounts detailed an April attack on a California substation. Leading the response was Jon Wellinghoff, former chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, who said the incident was an act of “domestic terrorism.”

    Wellinghoff discussed the incident and its ramifications with EnergyBiz in recent days. Cyber and physical acts of terrorism on the grid and the impact of extreme weather on power supplies will be front and center at the EnergyBiz Securing Power Forum in Washington March 3-4.

  • Utilities’ Staffing Falls Short

    Doug Westlund
    Jan 12, 2014 | Martin Rosenberg

    Utilities are increasingly aware of the cyberthreats that are facing them, but they are not adequately staffed to address mounting threats, according to Doug Westlund, the chief executive officer of N-Dimension Solutions. Cyberthreats and other disruptive challenges confronting utilities will be the focus of the EnergyBiz Securing Power Forum in Washington March 3-4

  • CIOs’ Expanding Role
  • Championing Flexibility
  • Racing to Shore Up Defenses

    Ernest Moniz
    Jan 05, 2014 | Martin Rosenberg

     

     

    Energy infrastructure is the target of more than half of the cyberattacks that have hit the United States, warns U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. He said that more must be done to secure America’s grid from both severe weather disruptions and cyberassaults. In addition, other power security issues are top priority for the secretary and the Obama administration. Moniz responded to our questions about energy security at the Platt’s Global Energy Outlook Forum in New York last month. Energy security is the focus of the upcoming EnergyBiz Secure Power Forum in Washington, March 3-4.

  • Dec 19, 2013 | Howard Scott - PH. D.

    Microgrids may be a dagger aimed at the heart of utilities and their large, centralized power grids. If consumers, business and industry abandon the main grid in favor of microgrids, it will threaten the utility compact and also have serious societal and national security implications.

  • Dec 12, 2013 | Brett J. L. Landry

    The cybersecurity landscape today is littered with threats: botnets, insiders, worms, covert channels, ransomware, SQL injection, social engineering, spoofing, phishing, BYOD, DDOS, hacking, APT, cyber terrorism, and so many other threats that they cannot all be listed here. The reality is that there are many different cyber attack vectors that affect every organization each day.

  • If progress is viewed as the highway we travel, the U.S. has just put the ten-year anniversary of the historic 2003 northeastern blackout that affected almost 45 million customers squarely in the rearview mirror. Our grid today is stronger under blue-sky conditions, more resilient and more reliable. However, the urge to use cruise control must be resisted as we look at the one-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy that put 8 million people out of power, many of whom were out for two weeks.

  • Lessons to Be Learned

    Brian Harrell
    Dec 01, 2013 | Martin Rosenberg

    Utilities, energy companies and regulatory agencies in mid-November held a two-day grid security exercise that was unprecedented in scope. Its findings will be produced in coming months – and its implications will be explored at the EnergyBiz Securing Power Forum in Washington March 3–4. Brian Harrell, associate director of critical infrastructure protection programs at North American Electric Reliability Corp., recently shared some insights about the exercise.

  • An Interview with Robert Powelson

    Nov 23, 2013 | Martin Rosenberg

    Power security and resiliency is a top concern of regulators and policymakers. It will be the theme of the EnergyBiz Securing Power Forum in Washington March 3-5. In a recent interview, Robert Powelson, Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission member, discussed the issue of power resiliency. 

  • The Human Factor

    Oct 27, 2013 | Martin Rosenberg

    Cybersecurity is a growing risk to utilities. Patricia L. Kampling, chairman, president and CEO of Alliant Energy, assesses the risk and responds to it below.

     

  • Oct 01, 2013 | Ken Silverstein

    An assault on the transmission grid in Arkansas is likely the result of a grievance with the utility or the developer's chosen path. The incident, under investigation by the FBI, underscores the need for greater vigilance of those assets that are the lifeblood of the American economy.

  • Connecticut Leads the Wasy

    Sep 29, 2013 | Martin Rosenberg

     After a devastating blizzard plunged much of Connecticut into darkness, the state’s governor, Dannel Malloy, sought new strategies for powering his state. Microgrids were one answer. Daniel C. Esty, the commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, discusses the effort. 

  • New Opportunities for Growth

    Andrew Bennett
    Sep 15, 2013 | Martin Rosenberg

    Efficiency and smart grid are two of the huge forces transforming the energy sector. We recently asked Andrew Bennett, Schneider Electric senior vice president for infrastructure, to sketch some of the major issues confronting utilities.

  • Solar Storm to Hit by Friday

    Aug 21, 2013 | Ken Silverstein

    Hold on. We are about to get a blast from outer space, literally. The sun has released super-heated particles that are expected to hit earth by Friday. They are called geomagnetic disturbances that can destroy satellites and power grids.

  • May 14, 2013 | Ken Silverstein

    Utilities are stepping up their efforts to protect critical infrastructure now that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has issued public warnings. The grid’s safety is especially vital, because it transports the lifeblood that fuels the American economy.

  • FACING SUMMER