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Secretary of Defense Panetta: Smart grid cyber security attack could be "next Pearl Harbor"

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Monday, August 22, 2011

The development of the smart grid in the U.S. will help usher in a new era of electric reliability. However, such infrastructure upgrades must similarly be met with improved smart grid cyber security measures, experts assert.

Power outages and other power supply network disruptions cost the U.S. economy more than $180 billion each year, according to Massoud Amin, a University of Minnesota engineering professor and smart grid expert. The smart grid will enable power providers and other utilities to more effectively manage the electric grid, as critical infrastructure protections (CIP) are lagging behind its rapid development.

According to a report from GreenBiz, U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has likened a cyber security attack on the nation's electric grid to the "next Pearl Harbor," underscoring the importance of improving smart grid cyber security measures.

As the government works to improve smart grid cyber security guidelines, many utilities are implementing policies aimed at protecting their power supply networks. With the stake of America's energy future at hand, it is of the utmost national security importance that such improvements be implemented, experts say.

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