Should Homeland Security Control the E Grid? Maybe.- CNET by Don Reisinger 12/5/2011
The time has come for the U.S. government to focus a single agency’s efforts on reinforcing the security of the electrical grid, MIT researchers said today in a wide-rangingreport.
The issue, MIT’s researchers say, is that the many stakeholders involved in maintaining the U.S. electrical grid aren’t working together, even though “cybersecurity regulations for bulk power systems already exist in the form of the NERC Critical Infrastructure Protection reliability standards.” For one, the researchers point out, those standards only apply to “the bulk power system and [do] not include the distribution system.” Distribution utilities on the local level are operating outside current regulations, making managing the entire grid practically impossible, the researchers added.
“This lack of a single operational entity with responsibility for grid cybersecurity preparedness as well as response and recovery creates a security vulnerability in a highly interconnected electric power system comprising generation, transmission, and distribution,” the researchers wrote.
To address the problem, the researchers believe “the federal government should designate a single agency to have responsibility for working with industry and to have appropriate regulatory authority to enhance cybersecurity preparedness, response, and recovery across the electric power sector, including bulk power and distribution systems.”