Biden launches plans to keep American utilities safe from rogue actors


The Colonial Pipeline serves millions of customers on the East Coast, including Washington Dulles International Airport – Copyright AFP / File STR

He The Biden administration has announced this a 100-day plan aimed at improving the security of industrial control systems of power companies and improving the sector’s ability to detect, mitigate and investigate cybersecurity incidents.

This new initiative it is the first of several planned for various critical infrastructure sectors, and it follows from similar measures announced in other countries. The plan identifies the necessary industrial control system and operational technology that can serve as a platform to deal with critical infrastructure.

In a statement, the White House said the plan, a coordinated effort between the Department of Energy, private utilities and the Cyber ​​Security and Infrastructure Agency (CISA), will include “aggressive but achievable goals” and will help the industry when it comes to improving the detection, mitigation and forensic capabilities of cybernetics, according to Security Info Watch.

Looking at the development of Digital Journal is Matt Sanders, director of security at LogRhythm.

According to Sanders, many companies experience attacks or feel especially vulnerable to attacks: “After the attacks of SolarWinds and Microsoft Exchange, as well as specific threats to critical infrastructure, such as the previous breach of a water facility from the Tampa, Florida area. This year, it is promising to see the Biden administration take this important step. “

Utility companies don’t make as many headlines as consumer products, but they are probably more important. Sanders notes: “Utility operations are vital to U.S. national security and the request for information (RFI) seeking recommendations to ensure the U.S. power supply chain will open an important dialogue which will probably lead to new ideas to protect our nation’s electricity operations from future attacks. ”

Time is of the essence; however, Sanders advises: “Unfortunately, these attacks and threats are only growing. The 100-day plan of the U.S. Department of Energy and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is currently volunteering the industry’s effort to deploy technologies to secure the industrial control system (ICS). ) and operational technology (OT), which can impair its effectiveness. “.

An inherent weakness has been maintained that is to blame, Sanders suggests. From his perspective: “Over the past 20 years, industrial control systems have neglected operational technology and operational risk in transmitting jump data to compensate for deficiencies in network security and physically isolate unsecured networks “.

To address this, Sanders proclaims, “Any organization that uses technology to enable critical infrastructure operations needs to ensure that appropriate protection protocols are in place, ranging from threat detection, preventive control, and response control to frustration. and quickly identify potential catastrophes. Detection and delayed alerts can lead to disaster if controls or data are obtained by domestic or foreign adversaries. “

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