The National Institute of Standards and Technology released a report in May identifying products available to enhance the electric grid’s cybersecurity. New technologies employed onto the grid are multiplying the number of access points for cyber threats.
At present, consistent cybersecurity controls for the distribution system, where utilities deliver electricity to customers, are lacking. If a cyberattack on a utility successfully causes a power outage, a ripple effect that destabilizes electricity in large areas could occur, possibly damaging parts of the interconnected system. So it is easy to understand why research firm Zpryme estimates that U.S. utilities will spend $7.25 billion on grid cybersecurity by 2020. I have written a commentary on this topic for Forbes here.
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