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In substation investment, utilities must consider very real threat of cyber attacks

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Monday, May 16, 2011

The growing threat of cyberattacks on the developing smart grid has spurred a group of industry watchers to call on the government to draft legislation that would better protect the critical infrastructure, according to a recently published report.

Analysts worry that as countries around the globe continue to invest in the development of the smart grid, it is increasingly susceptible to attacks by hackers, the Financial Post reports. The threat of cyberattack has prompted the U.S. government to funnel funding into projects aimed at protecting the smart grid, but there have still been an onslaught of attacks over the past few years, with a number of them emanating from China and Russia.

Ongoing investment in the smart grid benefits all consumers as its development can help ensure that power outages are managed in a matter of minutes instead of hours, but utilities must ensure that they are buying equipment that complies with the latest cybersecurity mandates, analysts assert.

A glut of the industrial control systems utilized now by many utilities - both in the U.S. and Canada - are in need of updating, and while substations and other transmission lines are worked on, utility companies must keep in mind the very real threat of cybersecurity attack, said Francis Bradley of the Canadian Electric Association.

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The Complexities of Substation Cyber Security

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