Smart Grid

December 17, 2012

Utilities and Smart Grids Awaking to Importance of Cybersecurity: ViaSat Survey

With cybercriminals getting smarter and harder to tackle, as electric utilities and smart grids evolve, there seems to be a more proactive approach to counter cybersecurity incidents with zero loss of critical function.

ViaSat (News - Alert) Inc., the cybersecurity company which provides network-centric military communication systems and cybersecurity products for the U.S. and allied governments, confirms this in its recently released '2012 Utility Cybersecurity Survey.

"The survey finding that cybersecurity has become a serious focal point by utilities is not a surprise – a synchronized public-private response to cybersecurity through new technologies is needed," explained Brett Luedde, director of global energy delivery systems at ViaSat.

According to an INFO graphic by Zpryme, commissioned to conduct the survey of 213 utility and smart grid professionals, 65 percent of the respondents believed utilities were beginning to take cyber threats seriously and this was likely to translate into increased investment in security for 2013.

Interestingly, the same group of executives felt that “operations and information technologies” were the most vulnerable to cyber attacks with only 4 percent believing that electrical networks in the United States were invincible.

The rest were divided on the extent of insecurity that ranged from somewhat secure to unsecure.

What was significant, though, was that a large majority of these executives felt that the recently rejected Cybersecurity Act of 2012 was a very important piece of legislation, and one that was greatly needed by the electricity industry.

Jason S. Rodriguez , CEO and director of Research at Zpryme, emphasized the need for utilities and smart grid vendors to be “cognizant of all levels of the electrical grid framework, from current infrastructure design through smart meter rollout, upkeep and disposition,” and observed that ViaSat was adequately equipped to “safeguard the grid, networks and systems that power up our daily lives.”

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Edited by Braden Becker