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CIP solutions a must for governments, according to new reports

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Wednesday, June 26, 2013

New reports suggest that the expanding energy grid requires government policy and stringent security measures to resist growing risks for critical infrastructure.

As energy infrastructure spreads throughout the country, communities become more connected, driving economic growth and societal advancement. However, this expansion makes the grid more susceptible to risks including natural disasters and cyber attacks that could critically injure networks throughout the country. In light of these growing dangers, a new report predicts that global markets to protect critical infrastructure will reach over $100 billion dollars in the next five years.

CIP's growing importance
Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) applies to how prepared a country is for cyber threats to its infrastructure through policy and implemented technology.

A Markets and Markets report entitled "Critical Infrastructure Protection: Global Advancements, Market Forecasts & Analysis, 2013-2018," discusses the global market for CIP as the need for cyber security solutions grows. It explains that training and awareness, along with the implementation of new smart grid technologies, are necessary for protecting critical infrastructure like the nation's electricity grid. The report predicts that these growing necessities will spur rapid market growth over the next five years, with the CIP market expanding from $63.76 billion in 2013 to $105.95 billion by 2018 with a compound annual growth rate of 10.7 percent.

Government's role in protecting infrastructure
A report published by ABI Research examined the national policies that governments should take to ensure the security of their grid by addressing the varying forms of cyber security threats.

"Nation states need to focus on elaborating cyber security strategies as their critical sectors go online. Research and development of policies, regulation, cooperative schemes, public-private partnerships, guidelines, and best practices are all important elements in developing a robust strategy that can minimize cyber risks and strengthen infrastructures," said ABI Research senior analyst Michela Menting.

The American government has taken action recently to address these cyber security threats. Over $3.4 billion dollars has been invested since 2009 into smart grid and other modernization improvements as part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, and earlier this month, the government established the U.S National Cyber Security Council.

Cyber security technologies and solutions
A successful utility's cyber security system uses the guidance of policy while implementing technological solutions. The North American Electronic Reliability Corporation (NERC) has set up a series of strict reliability standards to which utilities must comply. By using Intelligent Electronic Devices (IEDs) utilities can track and manage information gathered from their grid.

SUBNET Solutions helps utilities develop sound cyber security systems by meeting NERC CIP standards, using the company's existing hardware, software, and established IT policies.

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