The Cybersecurity Threat for Critical Infrastructures
The U.S. energy sector needs to better prepare for attacks, according to a new report from the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology.
It’s pretty easy to sensationalize the kind of havoc that a cyber attack could potentially inflict on an electric grid—images of a city, state or whole country brought to its knees by a malware attack; people dying from the cold or heat; communications brought to a halt. This level of mayhem is unlikely with the U.S. power grid simply because of the complexity of the network. But there’s still reason to be concerned.
“The interwoven networks of utility companies, transmission networks, distribution hubs and other facets are too complex for any one attacker to wholly dismantle,” says a new report from the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology (ICIT). “The grid depends on multiple parties who all operate different infrastructure that is configured differently. Redundancy systems and physical failsafes protect the grid from catastrophe.”
And yet the energy sector is plenty vulnerable nonetheless, according to ICIT’s James Scott, senior fellow, and Drew Spaniel, researcher, who authored “The Energy Sector Hacker Report” to provide details on the threats and vulnerabilities.
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