The electric utility industry is one of the most critical infrastructure industries that highly affect people’s lives and economic activities. The power grids connect the systems of power generation, substation, transmission, and distribution over a wide area. They are going modernized and under threat from nation-state attacks.
In the US, Biden’s administration took action to protect electricity operations as the first sector of the 100-day plan on Apr 2021. The U.S. Department of Energy suggested the initiative include:
- Encouraging owners and operators to implement measures or technology that enhance their detection, mitigation, and forensic capabilities;
- Concrete milestones over the next 100 days for owners and operators to identify; and
- Deploying technologies and systems that enable near real time situational awareness and response capabilities in critical industrial control system (ICS) and operational technology (OT) networks.
What is situational awareness? It is originally a concept used in the military and consists of the three components. It means perception of the elements in the environment, comprehension of the situation, and projection of future status.
It can be interpreted in the context of cybersecurity as follows:
- Collect information on resources, vulnerabilities, and threats, and detect abnormally events;
- Understand what is occurring on the network as a context; and
- Predict possible damage and make decisions to deal with risks.
Trend Micro has released a technical report on how the electric utility industry can gain situational awareness across entire network. To learn more, download and read ICS/OT Security for the Electric Utility: Situational awareness across OT, IT, and CT.