Power grid overseer steps up cybersecurity

The organization that oversees reliability for the nation’s electrical power grid is stepping up its cybersecurity efforts by setting up a new program office and creating a task force to review cybersecurity standards for the power industry.

The North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC), a quasi-governmental coalition that operates under the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), said it will establish a Critical Infrastructure Program, which includes cybersecurity, as its fourth program focus area. One of the program’s initiatives will be hiring a chief security officer to be a single point of contact for cyber and infrastructure issues related to the national electric power grid.


NERC represents stakeholders, primarily utilities, involved in ensuring electric power reliability. In July 2006, FERC designated the corporation as the nation’s electric reliability organization. The corporation also serves as home to the Electric Sector Information Sharing and Analysis Center, one of 17 national centers devoted to critical infrastructure sectors identified under the National Infrastructure Protection Plan.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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