Cybersecurity and Physical Security

Cybersecurity

The electric utility industry (including public power utilities) takes very seriously its responsibility to maintain a strong electric grid and it is the only critical infrastructure sector besides nuclear power that has any mandatory and enforceable federal regulatory standards in place for cybersecurity. As the grid evolves, unfortunately, so do threats to its integrity. The threat of cyber-attacks is relatively new compared to long-known physical threats, but an attack with operational consequences could occur and cause disruptions in the flow of power if malicious actors are able to hack into data overlays used in some electric generation and transmission infrastructure. Furthermore, such an attack could also cause public power utilities to incur liability for damages. While the American Public Power Association (Association or APPA) believes that the industry itself, with the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), has made great strides in addressing cybersecurity threats, vulnerabilities, and potential emergencies, it recognizes that emergency situations warranting federal involvement may arise.

Issue Brief
Cybersecurity and Physical Security