Ultra Intelligence & Communications

3eTI Responds to NSA Warning on Cybersecurity and Power-Grid Threat Posed by China

November 26th, 2014 / By

NSA Director Michael Rogers raised a warning before Congress last week about risks posed by China to America’s power grid through cyber-attack. 3eTI issued the company’s response, which follows.

We applaud Admiral Rogers’ comments last week to Congress regarding the disastrous consequences our nation faces should organized, well-funded and hostile parties make a concerted assault on America’s energy infrastructure.

With the spotlight once again on the risks we face should such a cyber-attack succeed, we at 3eTI know from our work with the US Department of Defense, and Department of Homeland Security, as well as with other agencies and private American enterprises, how seriously these risks must be taken. More specifically:

  • Cyber-security decisions must be based on identified risk. NSA, given its mission, has identified critical risks to the US electrical grid. Grid operators have a responsibility to our nation to act now to reduce these risks.
  • Grid vulnerability relates to computers used by grid operators and the computerized controllers that actually direct generation and distribution.
  • It is important to follow guidelines such as those outlined in the NIST Smart Grid Framework. Security must be funneled down to all computerized endpoints on the grid network, especially to the programmable logic controllers that initiate the start and stop sequences on the grid. Network firewalls are no longer a sufficient way to protect those devices.
  • Decisions on cyber-security solutions must include products and systems that have been independently validated by NIST and NIAP for robust network security. It is not enough to specify solutions solely on the basis of vendor claims.

We’ll post more as these issues and efforts progress.