September 26, 2018 2:50 PM
Nation-states are targeting the nation’s power grid with sophisticated cyber-attacks. At the same time, utilities are striving to meet the evolving expectations of customers adopting advanced information and communications technologies (ICT) to improve reliability, reduce outage time, integrate renewable generation, and facilitate adoption of electric vehicles. While these advancements offer substantial benefits including lower costs and more customer choice, this “digital transformation” is creating significant challenges for cyber defenders. Telemetry and communications networks essential to the reliable delivery of electricity are becoming more complex and interconnected, IT and OT networks are converging, and the supply chain is expanding. The net result is a highly dynamic and larger cyber-attack surface. Since the electric power grid is most owned and operated by the private sector, they have the primary responsibility to ensure critical digital networks are adequately protected against cyber-attacks. Yet nation-states with highly sophisticated tools and nearly unlimited resources are the ones targeting the nation’s critical electric infrastructure – is this a fair fight? Panelists representing the electric sector owners and operators as well as suppliers of cyber security solutions and services will discuss how they are protecting the electric grid in this highly dynamic environment. They will also highlight some of the cutting-edge technologies and innovative solutions they are implementing as well as emerging challenges that still need to be addressed.