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RESEARCH AND BRIEFINGS

Securing Power, Utilities, and Other Critical Infrastructure from Growing Cyber Risks

 


The power and utilities industry faces more cyber attacks than any other critical infrastructure sector, according to Department of Homeland Security data.

The power and utilities industry faces more cyber attacks than any other critical infrastructure sector, according to Department of Homeland Security data.

The industrial control systems that supported the electricity industry were at one time largely sealed off from external threats. But with the introduction of automated controls managed through interconnected network systems, those protections have dissipated. As automation grows, so does the opportunity to manipulate an industrial control system through a cyber attack.

For utilities and other infrastructure facilities, the potential costs of a power grid interruption as a result of a cyber attack can include:

  • Lost revenue.
  • Additional expenses to restore operations and to improve cyber security defenses.
  • Regulatory fines and additional scrutiny.
  • Reputational damage.

Such attacks, though rarely made public, are occurring more frequently.

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