Shocking Power Grid Hack Raises Crisis Management Concerns

Erik Bernstein crisis management, cybersecurity Leave a Comment

Attack in the Ukraine raises serious questions about U.S. security

The cyberattack that caused blackouts for hundreds of thousands of Ukranians in December is raising serious crisis management concerns here in the States.

CNN’s Evan Perez reports:

A U.S. official close to the investigation said the power outage was caused by a sophisticated attack using destructive malware that wrecked computers and wiped out sensitive control systems for parts of the Ukrainian power grid.

For years, U.S. officials have expressed worry about the vulnerability of the U.S. power grid. And the U.S. investigation of the Ukrainian attack has confirmed what until now has been largely theoretical: that cyberwarfare can be used to disable the U.S. power grid. U.S. systems aren’t any more protected than those breached in Ukraine, the U.S. official said.

Events like this should serve as a catalyst to spark change. Of course, should is the key word there. As the tire industry, the CPA biz, auto companies, and many others have shown us, it often takes a crisis that hits significantly closer to home to wake everyone up. Our unfortunate prediction is that, despite knowing of this threat for many years, energy companies won’t have adequate protection in place to prevent the same kind of successful attacks against parts of the U.S. power grid.

What does this mean to your organization? Well, if you’re part of an energy company get to work beefing up security and implementing backup plans. If you’re not, it’s simple – assume that at some point you’ll be without power, possibly for an extended amount of time. Know what you’ll do and you can mitigate many of the risks. Or, you can fail to prepare and quite literally be left in the dark. Your call.

The BCM Blogging Team

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