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Top-ranking Boeing official asserts smart grid's vulnerability, calls for added investment

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Thursday, May 12, 2011

At the National Defense Industrial Association's annual energy symposium this week, Paul Bollinger, Boeing's general manager of government solutions, affirmed that there are a wide swath of technological challenges the U.S. will face in cybersecurity and infrastructure as it invests in the development of the smart grid.

Bollinger said that there are a number of technological obstacles the U.S. must surmount if it hopes to ensure the efficacy of the smart grid. For example, Bollinger said that the 160,000 miles of transmission lines covering the country's antiquated electric grid present policymakers with the challenge of implementing infrastructure upgrades while they also work to protect the critical infrastructure, which analysts assert is exceedingly vulnerable to remote attacks.

Though U.S. presidents have called for energy policies that would free the U.S. from its reliance on foreign oil, the smart grid can help achieve those goals, according to Bollinger. However, the U.S. must ensure that cybersecurity initiatives are implemented that can protect the grid from hackers, terrorists and natural disasters.

If the U.S. hopes to maintain its position as the world's foremost economy and as a hub of innovation, it must protect the smart grid, Bollinger said.



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