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Cyber attacks – power grid

Cyber Attacks – power grid

There is current concern regarding cyber attacks into the US power grid.

The Washington Post reported the following.   Russian hackers accessed the US power grid through a Vermont utility. The Vermont utility subsequently denied it. The utility  said that the attack was not linked to the grid. Furthermore, suspected hackers were not Russian. The media spread the story however.

The US power grid is sensitive.   Poor weather conditions do cause outages. However, there is serious concern.  It involves the potential hacking of the system. The utility’s control system is linked to the internet.

Businesses would  suffer heavy economic losses due to an outage

Therefore, businesses need to manage the potential business interruption risk. The only way to take care of this danger is by means of insurance.

Tripwire had an energy study in 2016 .  The study was conducted by Dimensional Research on cyber security challenges . These challenges face  organisations in the energy sector.

“It’s tempting to believe that this increase in attacks is horizontal across industries, but the data shows that energy organizations are experiencing a disproportionately large increase when compared to other industries. At the same time, energy organizations face unique challenges in protecting industrial control systems and SCADA assets.”

Tim Erlin, director of IT security and risk strategy for Tripwire.

Nearly 80% of respondents said that the amount of successful cyber attacks had increased in the previous 12 months.
However, almost 90% of the said respondents said they had not detected cyber attacks.

Electric generators could overload.  The immediate result would be fires and explosions.  Utility customers would lose billions. There was a 2014 analysis by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. They announced that successful attacks on just nine of the 55,000 US power grid substations could cause nationwide blackouts for weeks or even months.