WASHINGTON, March 11, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Improved resiliency of the nation's electric grid is key to virtually all national infrastructure, said grid advocacy group Protect Our Power, which applauded the recommendations of the bi-partisan Cyberspace Solarium Commission, released today.
"These are compelling recommendations, echoing issues we have highlighted for several years now, and action is long overdue," said Jim Cunningham, executive director of Protect Our Power, a non-partisan, non-profit grid resilience organization. "Critical to the success of almost everything outlined in this report — offensive and defensive — is the availability of electricity. Without a reliable supply of electricity before, during and following a disabling cyberattack, none of our critical infrastructure can function."
"Recognizing this fact, we recommend a heightened focus on ensuring that our electric grid be made as robust and resilient as possible – immediately – and that restoration of the nation's electric system following an attack be assigned a top-priority status," Cunningham said.
"Whether the issue is utility industry supply chain integrity, the widespread adoption of available cybersecurity best practices or encouraging individual states to authorize necessary grid improvements, leadership at the federal level is required," Cunningham added. "Congress and the relevant agencies must provide the structure and funding to ensure the security of our electricity supply."
Two report recommendations that make clear the critical need for a more resilient electric grid include:
Congress should direct the U.S. government to develop and maintain Continuity of the Economy planning in consultation with the private sector to ensure continuous operation of critical functions of the economy in the event of a significant cyber disruption.
Congress should codify the concept of "systemically important critical infrastructure," whereby entities responsible for systems and assets that underpin national critical functions are ensured the full support of the U.S. government and shoulder additional security requirements befitting their unique status and importance.
About Protect Our Power Protect Our Power is a not-for-profit organization designed to build a consensus among key stakeholders, decision-makers and public policy influencers to launch a coordinated and adequately funded effort to make the nation's electric grid more resilient and more resistant to all external threats. POP is singularly and uniquely positioned as a non-partisan, unbiased thought leader able to serve as a convening, moderating, action-oriented voice.