Wednesday, November 4, 2009

NERC Grid Security Update: On the Lookout for a New Order

This article is a bit jumbled, but it does communicate the gravity with which NERC CSO Michael Assante approaches cyber threats to the national grid. Quite simply, he views the threats to the grid and emerging Smart Grid to be something beyond what we've ever faced before. This from a recent panel appearance:
There was a known security rule set in the Cold War. We knew and expected behaviors. We could calculate escalation. We took this into any account when we planned any action. When cyber defenses and communications entered the military, it was a force multiplier. We appreciated what it gave us. What we didn't realize was that cyber would be the thing that destroyed the rules of order.
That last line really got my attention. We are just beginning to learn the new rules. But you have to be careful and alert. So many experts from other domains giving advice about how to secure the Smart Grid these days, pretending they understand what it's ultimately going to look like. When in fact, these are still the early days and, given the pace of technological change we've witnessed in recent years and decades, the Smart Grid of 2020 will look quite different than we imagine it today. Like Assante and NERC, all of us "good guys" need to make ourselves ready for what's coming.

Photo Credit: US Army on Flickr

No comments: