Cybersecurity of the Grid

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Note from the editor

A first-ever cyberattack against U.S. wind and solar assets in 2019 opened a new front in the ongoing battle to ensure the security of the nation's power grid.

More recent incidents involving multinational energy company Enel as well as a natural gas compressor station also show a growing threat to the energy sector.

To reduce the risks, companies are examining their security culture and turning to new approaches like machine learning, while the Trump Administration is working to address threats from China, Russia and other countries.

The following trendline examines various threats, responses and challenges in the ever expanding "cat and mouse game" of cybersecurity.

Larry Pearl Senior Editor

Berkshire Hathaway Energy 'not where we want to be' on cybersecurity, says executive

3 critical infrastructure security executives discuss how they manage vulnerabilities

• Published July 27, 2021

Utilities to DOE: More information, not new regulations, needed to secure the grid

Utilities support development of a U.S.-based supply chain for grid equipment, but warn that sudden changes in procurement processes could drive up prices and impact reliability.

• Published June 14, 2021

'An eye for an eye': The electric sector's defense will depend on federal government's might, says Southern CEO

• Published June 11, 2021

Does Colonial's proactive pipeline shutdown illustrate a new cybersecurity threat to utilities?

While a controlled pipeline closure is preferred over one carried out by nefarious groups, the decision is up for debate in the security community.

• Published May 17, 2021

Colonial Pipeline hack highlights grid disruption risks even with IT-focused cyberattack, analysts say

Hackers unleashed ransomware on the largest refined products pipeline on the East Coast, leading to a voluntary pipeline shutdown.

• Published May 11, 2021

Critical infrastructure flaws surface after years of underinvestment in energy, other sectors, analysts say

Providers knew the warning signs but have been slow to respond.

• Published May 12, 2021

State of the Electric Utility 2021: Utilities' cybersecurity approach shows cause for concern, experts say

Almost all utilities are training employees on safe email use. That's the bare minimum they can do, say security experts.

• Published April 1, 2021

What's in your software? Federal initiative targets frequently overlooked electric utility vulnerabilities

Software supply chain issues are the subject of a new collaboration between the electric power sector and federal government.

• Published March 10, 2021

Florida water utility hack reveals thousands of organizations vulnerable to Window 7 exposure

Critical infrastructure providers and small and medium businesses continue to operate the outdated Microsoft OS without security updates and patches.

• Published Feb. 22, 2021

Utilities face growing ransomware threat as hackers improve strategy, execution

The energy industry faces an increasing threat from financially-motivated hackers. Experts say more companies are paying, and ransoms are rising.

• Published Aug. 26, 2020