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Critical Electric Infrastructure Protection Act

The US Senate announced that today will witness the introduction of this important ACT, this act shall give FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ) and DHS (Department of Home Land Security) the legislative powers and authority needed to over see the security and resiliency of the Electricity sector including the privately owned utility companies.

Basically the FERC will do the policies and standards and the DHS will investigate technically any compromises.

I believe this legislation will lead a wave of similar ACTs in other sectors and other countries as well. we cant afford self regulation in critical services like energy, self regulation ruined the economy and we shouldn’t tolerate the consequences of poor self regulation when it comes to IT security and resiliency of a nuclear power plant for example.

Chairman Thompson issued the following statement regarding the legislation:

“Any failure of our electric grid, whether intentional or unintentional would have a significant and potentially devastating impact on our nation. We must ensure that the proper protections, resources and regulatory authorities are in place to address any threat aimed at our power system. This legislation addresses these critical issues by providing a common sense approach to ensure continued security of the nation’s electric infrastructure,” Thompson concluded.

The Critical Electric Infrastructure Protection Act:

Provides authority to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to issue emergency rules or orders if a cyber threat is imminent. These rules or orders may be issued after a finding by the Secretary of Homeland Security (in consultation with other national security agencies) that a national security threat exists.

Requires FERC to assess and establish interim standards deemed necessary to protect against known cyber threats to critical electric infrastructure.

Requires DHS to conduct an investigation to determine if the security of Federally-owned critical electric infrastructure has been compromised by outsiders.

Categories: SCADA Security
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