Changes to the NERC CIP compliance standard have been proposed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission aiming to protect utility grids from laptops and mobile devices that could potentially spread malicious software.

The proposal includes “mandatory controls to address the risks posed by malware from transient electronic devices like laptop computers, thumb drives, and other devices used in low-impact electric cyber systems.” This would require cybersecurity plans to include specific methods for detecting malicious code and most importantly, mitigating the effects.

The term Low-impact systems refers to systems like grid control centers, sub-stations, certain generators and power plants, and parts of the transmission grid. While these establishments are generally seen as less critical compared to larger grid control centers and transmission hardware, these systems are still vulnerable to intrusion.

The proposed changes come in the wake of reports revealing possible North Korean cyber-attacks targeting the U.S. power system with malware.

NERC claims the proposed reliability standards “is designed to mitigate the cybersecurity risks to bulk electric system facilities, and equipment, which, if destroyed, degraded, or otherwise rendered unavailable as a result of a cybersecurity incident, would affect the reliable operations of the bulk electric systems.”

The NERC CIP Compliance Standard is mandatory for the Energy, Power, and Utility industry, with fines of up to $1 Million per violation, per day, in certain cases. NNT understands the importance of achieving, proving, and most importantly, remaining NERC CIP compliant, which is why we can help you meet requirements of CIP-002, CIP-003, CIP-004, CIP-005, CIP-006, CIP-007, CIP-008, CIP-009, CIP-010, and CIP-011, with simple auditor ready reports built in.

 

 

Read this article on the Washington Examiner

 

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