Power grid war exercise expand to telecom companies

Power grid war exercise expand to telecom companies

telcoPower Grid war includes banks, Wall Street and Telecom

The war game the government and utilities are holding every other year to simulate attacks on the power grid is being expanded to include big banks, Wall street, and the telecommunication industry.

The GridEx IV security exercise last November came as recommendation to protect infrastructure, even though the electric sector has been a step ahead on public-private partnerships to address the growing cybersecurity threats in the US.

Mike Wallace a former utility executive and member of the presidential National Infrastructure Advisory Council, acknowledge this is a perfect opportunity to test how federal authorities will be performing during a severe cyber attack.

It was the first time since the exercise was raised in 2011 that the financial and telecom sectors joined. It was confirmed by Marty Coyne, spokesman for the North American Reliability Corporation, or NERC, which is the lead group of this event.

Telecom and financial institutions are entwined with electricity, and all of them have been targeted by hackers to disrupt the US market, communication infrastructure, and the grid.

The former CEO of PJM Interconnection, the largest federally overseen grid operator, told NIAC before he left PJM in December 2015 the grid operator was under cyber attack between 3,000 and 4,000 per month.

The GridEx exercise allows utilities to see how they performed during a simulated coordinated security threats, strengthen their crisis communications relationships and provide input for lessons learned.

We cannot prevent all cyber-breaches but by keeping utility and generation plant controls isolated and not interconnected this can make them immune of cyber attack.

The council’s mission is to “coordinate efforts to prepare for, and respond to, national-level disasters or threats to critical infrastructure.” The council is involved in the GridEx exercise and has used the event to hone its cybersecurity coordination with the federal government.