North American Electric Reliability Corporation Creates Cyber Attack Task Force

in Cybersecurity/Smart Grid by

WASHINGTON March 3, 2011- The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) has announced the formation of a Cyber Attack Task Force to evaluate and help protect the U.S. power grid in the event of an online assault.

NERC is an independent, international organization that seeks to ensure the “reliability of the bulk power system in North America.” The Cyber Attack Task Force will establish procedures and plans to deal with potential cyber-attacks on electrical grid infrastructure.

The task force will be chaired by Mark Engels, director of Information Technology Risk Management at Dominion Resources Services Inc.

“Operators are trained to spot anomalies and take the appropriate actions in real time,” Engels said. “The Cyber Attack Task Force will build on that existing knowledge with recommendations that make it easier to detect and respond to indicators of an organized attack."

“NERC and the electricity industry have been actively addressing cybersecurity risks for some  years now,” said Gerry Cauley, president and CEO of NERC. “This initiative will more thoroughly examine the potential impact of a targeted cyber-attack and how the industry should best coordinate the preparedness and response actions of cyber security experts with power grid operators.”

Rahul Gaitonde has been writing for since the fall of 2009, and in May of 2010 he became Deputy Editor. He was a fellow at George Mason University’s Long Term Governance Project, a researcher at the International Center for Applied Studies in Information Technology and worked at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. He holds a Masters of Public Policy from George Mason University, where his research focused on the economic and social benefits of broadband expansion. He has written extensively about Universal Service Fund reform, the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program and the Broadband Data Improvement Act

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