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Posted Jul 18th, 2012

Nation’s Power Grid Faces Cyber Threats

By Kenneth Corbin, CIO.com
Posted July 18, 2012

With a possible debate on cybersecurity legislation looming in the Senate, energy regulators on Tuesday warned lawmakers of the pressing threats facing the nation’s power grid.

Appearing before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, a panel of witnesses stressed that any bill the full chamber approves must provide for a more fluid system of sharing information about cyber threats, both between public and private entities and between federal and state and local authorities.

“We’re often challenged by the lack of information,” said Gerry Cauley, president and CEO of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation. “And this is where in cyber the partnership between industry and government in terms of information to help us understand those risks and to be able to adapt to them is very important.”

Gregory Wilshusen, director of information and technology at the Government Accountability Office, said his agency recently evaluated the Department of Homeland Security’s practices of sharing threat information with the private sector and found it wanting. Too often, Wilshusen said, the department was only providing overly broad information or waiting too long to issue threat warnings.

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