Federal Agency Needed to Take Charge of Nation's Power Grid, Says MIT
A federal agency should have the lead role in securing the critical infrastructure, MIT researchers said, but they did not state whether that agency should be Homeland Security.A single federal agency should be in charge of defending the nation's critical infrastructure from cyber-attacks, and not the patchwork of organizations currently in charge, according to researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In a 268-page report on the future of the United States electric grid through 2030 released Dec. 5, a team of MIT researchers recommended that a single federal agency have the appropriate regulatory authority to be responsible for cyber-security preparedness, response and recovery. The report looked at ways to safeguard the power grid, the need for utilities to switch to smart meters and improve the grid's efficiency, and funding for research and development to develop procedures for responding to cyber-attacks, among other things.
Cyber-attacks will happen, but a single agency would be better able to address the problem rather than several federal, state and local entities responsible for various parts of the grid trying to coordinate with each other, the researchers wrote. Such a mishmash of organizations are not working together, even though cyber-security regulations for bulk power systems already exist. However, the researchers noted that local distribution utilities are not subject to these regulations.