Unplugging From Digital Controls to Safeguard Power Grids

Late last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation to mandate federal research on a radically ‘retro’approach to protect power grids from cyber attack: unplugging or otherwise isolating the most criticalequipment from grid operators’ digital control systems. Angus King, an independent senator from Maine whose identical bill passedthe Senate last month, says such a managed retreat from networked controls may berequired to thwart the grid’s most sophisticated online adversaries. Grid cyber experts say the Securing Energy Infrastructure Act moving through Congress isa particular testament toMichael Assante, a gifted and passionate cybersecurity expert whodied earlier this monthfrom leukaemia at the age of 48.
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