The North American Electric Reliability Corporation is setting up a cyber-attack task force to evaluate and help protect the U.S. power grid in the event of an web assault, according to a release from the electric reliability organization.
The 40-volunteer strong task force will identify opportunities to boost existing protection, resilience and recovery capabilities associated with power system practices, plans and procedures, as well as the tools and systems operators rely upon to manage the reliable operation of the bulk power system.
“Operators are trained to spot anomalies and take the appropriate actions in real time,“ said Mark Engels, director of IT risk management at Dominion, who also chairs the task force. “The Cyber Attack Task Force will build on that existing knowledge with recommendations that make it easier to detect and respond to indicators of an organized attack.“
Last year, NERC and the Energy Department released the report “High-Impact, Low-Frequency Event Risk to the North American Bulk Power System,” which found that the best approach to handling risks would be through an organized combination of industry-led task forces and NERC staff initiatives.
“NERC and the electricity industry have been actively addressing cybersecurity risks for some years now,“ said Gerry Cauley, president and CEO of NERC. “This initiative will more thoroughly examine the potential impact of a targeted cyber attack and how the industry should best coordinate the preparedness and response actions of cybersecurity experts with power grid operators.“