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Southern Co. CEO: Cyber security essential to smart grid success

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Monday, June 06, 2011

The president of one of the country's largest electricity companies is exceedingly worried about the threat of cyber security attacks on critical infrastructure like the smart grid, according to published reports.

The Associated Press reports that Southern Co. chief executive Tom Fanning recently said that the threat of cyber security threats to the U.S. power supply network is so significant that computer systems necessary for the smart grid must be bug-free so the grid and customers are not put at rise.

The assertion from the one of the most influential people in the U.S. electricity supply mirrors a series of reports that have emerged recently that assert the smart grid is increasingly susceptible to cyber hacking attempts. The Economist recently noted that "hackers are becoming ever more tenacious and creative in their attempts to get their hands on sensitive data."

Fanning affirmed that Southern Co. has been a leader in its smart grid security measures. Fanning told reporters that the utility routinely hires hackers to identify vulnerabilities in its power supply network. He also said that the utility is a frequently hit by cyber security attacks.

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