NIST Issues Second Draft of Smart-Grid Cybersecurity Plan

The National Institute of Standards and Technology has issued its second draft of its strategy, Smart Grid Cyber Security Strategy and Requirements, for public review.

The implementation of smart-grid technology opens up a variety of new vulnerabilities with the power grid. Foreign nations and terrorists would be capable of using cyberspace to take down the power grid throughout the United States.

The draft identifies more than 120 interfaces that will link a variety of devices and systems and classifies each based on the potential damage resulting from a possible breach. This second draft used 350 comments, which were received following the first draft. The second draft expanded the sections on vulnerability categories, privacy and the broader approach to achieving cybersecurity for the smart grid.

The vulnerability of the electric grid concerns a variety of experts. Mike McConnell, former DNI and presently with Booz Allen, views the threat to the electric grid as severe. Cyber attackers could potentially turn off the power for significant sections of the country.

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