Yet, despite fears of retaliation from foreign governments against the U.S. electric grid, a recent report based on over 100 surveyed utility companies revealed alarming vulnerabilities in the nation’s energy system. The report was supported by members of the U.S. House of Representatives in an effort to bring awareness to the security gaps in the utilities sector.
Among some of the report’s key findings were:
- Attacks on the nation’s critical infrastructure – including energy – were up 68 percent from 2011
- Many utility companies reported receiving “daily,” “constant” or “frequent” cyber-attack attempts
- Among the attacks reported were phishing, malware infection, and unfriendly probes
- Most utility companies are compliant with mandatory cybersecurity standards issued by the government, but voluntary recommendations by the industry watchdog – the North America Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) – have been ignored by many