Right Hooks

Electric Grid Lacks Needed Security

The U.S. power grid is seriously lacking in needed security.

National Security Desk · Jul. 15, 2016

When the power goes out even for a short period of time, it becomes quickly evident how essential having a stable power grid is to the nation’s ability to function. The electrical power often taken for granted is essentially the life blood of today’s modern society. Without it even some of the most basic functions of modern life are inoperable. And the continued vulnerability of the power grid has been causing increasing amounts of concern.

The Wall Street Journal reports that a large majority of substations supporting the U.S. power grid are woefully lacking in adequate security. These substations are essential for safe and stable operation of the power grid as they are the primary means by which high voltage power received from power plants are lowered in order to be safely delivered to homes and business.

From the Journal: “Gerry Cauley, head of the North American Electric Reliability Corp., — which writes standards for the grid — was asked at a FERC hearing in June on grid security what kept him up at night. He said the prospect of ‘eight or 10 vans going to different sites and blowing things up.’ Recovery from a coordinated attack, he said, could take weeks or months.” Indeed, if you think a mass casualty incident at a bar is enough to create panic, think about a jihadi taking out the power grid.

This is no conspiracy theorist’s irrational fear, but a deepening challenge power providers across the nation face. There have already been a rising number of substations that have been attacked. Most attacks have been theft related, however a few seem to have more sinister motives, primarily for destructive purposes.

The takeaway? Be prepared.

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