White House stresses cybersecurity as smart grid policy priority

The other priorities identified in the policy paper include enabling cost-effective smart grid investments, supporting innovation in the electricity sector, and giving consumers tools to access energy consumption information.

In addition to the cybersecurity challenges faced by all critical infrastructure, there are unique challenges for the smart grid. “These include the lengthy life expectancy of energy control systems, low-latency communications needed for real-time control, and differing requirements and regulatory frameworks among grid stakeholders”, the report said.

The White House said it would facilitate the development of rigorous, open cybersecurity standards and guidelines for the smart grid through public-private partnerships.

“A critical part of such an effort is to identify and prioritize relevant cyber risks – including malware, compromised devices, insider threats, and hijacked systems – and develop standards and guidelines that enable the design of effective plans for mitigating those risks”, the report said.

In addition, the White House will work with smart grid stakeholders to promote a performance-based cybersecurity culture, which includes active risk management, performance evaluations, and ongoing monitoring.

The White House’s cybersecurity priorities are protecting the electric system from cyber attacks and ensuring it can recover when attacked, as well as developing and maintaining threat awareness and rigorous cybersecurity guidelines and standards.

In conjunction with report’s release, the White House said it was providing $250 million in loans for deployment of smart-grid technology in rural America.

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