States Ill-Equipped To Face Utility Cybersecurity Threats

"The annual membership directory of state utility regulators lists several hundred key staff members of the 50 state commissions. Not a single staff position in the 81 pages has 'cybersecurity' in the title.

While the vulnerability of the nation's high-voltage interstate grids attracts increasing concern and attention at the federal policy level, the ability of state commissions to oversee the cyber and physical security defenses of local distribution utilities varies greatly. With some exceptions, neither commissions nor utilities have the depth of security expertise to match their potential adversaries, experts and officials agree.

Commissioner Philip Jones of the Washington State Utilities and Transportation Commission, and the past president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), said the threat is acutely recognized across the state commissions."

Peter Behr and Blake Sobczak report for EnergyWire May 5, 2014, in the first part of a two-part series.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014