Cybersecurity

By Ben Bain

Blog archive

House moves to protect grid from cyber threats

The House has voted to give the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) additional powers to protect the country’s bulk power system from cyber-related attacks and other types of threats.

Members of the House passed the bill, sponsored by Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), by a voice vote on June 9. The measure would:

  • Authorize FERC to issue orders for emergency measures to protect the reliability of either the bulk power system or the defense critical electric infrastructure when the president identifies an imminent security threat to the power grid.
  • Have the president designate for FERC up to 100 U.S. facilities that are critical to the country’s defense and vulnerable to an electric energy supply disruption.
  • Have the Electric Reliability Organization submit reliability standards to FERC designed to protect from a geomagnetic storm event.
  • Direct FERC to require an owner or operator of defense-critical electric infrastructure to put in place measures to protect against identified vulnerabilities if they have been determined not to have been adequately deal with otherwise.
  • Direct the energy secretary to establish a program to develop technical expertise to protect power systems against problems caused by geomagnetic storms or attacks using electronic communications or electromagnetic pulse.

“The electric grid’s vulnerability to cyber and other attacks is one of the single greatest threats to our national security,” Markey, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Energy and Environment Subcommittee, said after the bill passed.

Posted by Ben Bain on Jun 10, 2010 at 12:12 PM


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