October is Cyber Security Awareness Month, but securing our nations electric grid is a top priority for the electric power industry year-round. While the industry supports passage of cybersecurity legislation, it is not waiting for congressional action. Electric companies are proactively safeguarding the grid and partnering with federal agencies to enhance sector-wide resilience to cyber and physical threats.
The industry has forged a strong partnership with the government through the Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council (ESCC). The ESCC brings together senior Administration officials with senior utility executives to coordinate efforts to prepare for, and respond to, national-level incidents or threats to critical infrastructure. President Obamas National Infrastructure Advisory Council views the electric sector as the model for industry-government engagement.
EEI continues to work with industry leaders, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on critical infrastructure standards for cybersecurity and physical security to protect critical assets of the bulk power system. The recent physical security standards were approved by the NERC, and final FERC approval is expected soon.
EEI is working across the industry and with the government to deploy the latest tools and technology on electric companies' systems to mitigate against cyber threats and improve situational awareness.
Electric companies also continue to lead on developing strategies for spare equipment and backup transformers while building partnerships with the transportation sector, and they are working closely with other associations and business coalitions to support a number of security bills, including the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, and the National Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure Protection Act.
With continued investment in grid security measures, enhanced mutual assistance networks, and partnerships with the government, electric companies remain committed to securing the grid in the face of evolving threats.
Source: Edison Electric Institute
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