Full Title: Cybersecurity and the North American Electric Grid: New Policy Approaches to Address an Evolving Threat
Author(s): General (ret.) Michael Hayden, Curt Hébert and Susan Tierney
Publisher(s): Bipartisan Policy Center
Publication Date: February 1, 2014
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Cyber threats to North America’s electric grid are growing, making electric grid cybersecurity an increasingly important national and international issue. The Federal Bureau of Investigation recently noted that cyber attacks are eclipsing terrorism as the primary threat facing the United States.
As cyber attacks become more frequent, energy systems are increasingly being targeted. The Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team, which is part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, reported responding to 198 cyber incidents in fiscal year 2012 across all critical infrastructure sectors. Forty-one percent of these incidents involved the energy sector, particularly electricity.
Fortunately, the electric power sector has yet to experience a cyber attack that affected the operations of the North American grid. But experts generally agree that the risk of a large-scale attack is significant and must be addressed. The costs and impacts of such an event could be profound.