How vulnerable is North Carolina’s power grid? It’s not a new issue.
- Dec 5, 2022 11:11 pm GMT
An attack on two electrical substations that’s left thousands in
The threat of direct attacks like Saturday’s, as well as looming cybersecurity risks, pose serious concerns to communities in
What’s the biggest threat to North Carolina’s power grid?
Security is one of the top risks facing the Southeast’s power grid, according to the most recent risk report from SERC, the division of the
That includes — per the report released in January — cybersecurity threats and the threat of sabotage.
“Physical attacks on electric power infrastructure and assets” are “on the rise,” SERC reports.
“Physical attacks are often connected to some form of grievance, whether political or personal,” SERC says. “Sabotage is defined as deliberate, well planned, and often with an insider component, and has the greatest potential for impact.”
Examples have been seen nationwide, including a 2013 incident in
SERC President and CEO
“We have a long-standing and great partnership with Duke Energy as well as a robust security plan in place,” the department said.
Cybersecurity is also a major concern, SERC notes, especially as electrical systems become more automated and reliant on “third-party service providers, vendors, and/or other organizations.”
“Nations and criminal groups pose the most significant cyber threats to
“These threat actors are increasingly capable of attacking the grid,” the agency wrote in an October report.
Attackers could also bring down power grids “indirectly,” SERC says, by bringing down “supporting systems” and “critical infrastructure” such as water supplies and natural gas used by power plants or disrupting the supply chain for electricity.
What can be done to protect North Carolina’s power grid?
Power facilities have a number of means of addressing issues that can leave them vulnerable, an
Recommendations include having hands-on leadership, frequently inspecting facilities and equipment in person, collaborating with other facilities on best practices and closely monitoring outside vendors and contractors and their work.
At the federal level, money is being put into combating cybersecurity threats. That includes
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