The Western Interconnection Regional Advisory Body (WIRAB) hosted a series of webinars on cybersecurity challenges faced by electric utilities and their industrial control systems. Experts from Veracity Industrial Networks, a cybersecurity company focused on delivering resilient and secure industrial network platforms, provided an introduction to the cyber threats faced by electric utility control systems, discussed resiliency in the power grid and control systems to mitigate these threats, and facilitated a discussion about the pros and cons of enacting state policies designed to enable better cybersecurity practices.
The series of three, one-hour long webinars took place every Friday, for three weeks starting December 1, 2017 and ending on December 15, 2017. The topics of the three webinars were:
Webinar #1 – Introduction to Industrial Control Systems: Threats, Risks and Future Cybersecurity Trends
(December 1, 2017 at 11:00 AM Mountain)
Veracity provided an introduction and discussed the differences between electric utility information technology systems and industrial control systems, described the cyber risks and threats to electric utility systems, walked-through and described the anatomy of a potential cyber-attack on an electric utility and discussed future trends for securing electric utility systems.
Webinar #2 – Power Grid Resilience and Mitigating the Impacts of a Cyber Event
(December 8, 2017 at 11:00 AM Mountain)
Veracity Industrial Networks and InPOWERd LLC provided a description of the resiliency of the U.S. grid and workforce challenges. They discussed an approach to enhance operational efficiency to bridge the gap for workforce challenges and innovation in cyber resilience to align with the resilience mission of the US power grid.
Webinar #3 – Challenges with State/Provincial Policies to Address Cyber Risk
(December 15, 2017 at 11:00 AM Mountain)
Finally, Veracity will address some of the policy challenges associated with cybersecurity. Due to the speed at which technology changes, the nature of policy almost always significantly lags technology innovation. Because of this disconnect, compliance with policy and regulatory requirements does not necessarily equate to adequate security. Veracity will facilitate a discussion on the pros and cons of policy and regulations aimed at improving cybersecurity, and address roadblocks that could lead to more secure and efficient operations.
The recordings and slides for all webinars are available online at: http://westernenergyboard.org/category/webinars/