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Deadline Looms for New Cyber-Security Standard

NERC's proposal has the industry scrambling.

Fortnightly Magazine - August 2005

the industry on a solid footing. … but it's not just a technical issue. What it comes down to is, what are people willing to pay in order to have the power system secure? There's a limited pot of money, so people are always going to have to make judgments from an economic sense, and sometimes from a political sense because regulations do carry some weight.

"That's how the industry is going to make a decision. They're going to weigh all these things and say, what are the costs if we implement this, and what are the costs if we don't implement it-just like any other business would.

"But I'm personally hoping the standards pass because it would give us a good basis for getting the industry toward a safe footing."

Bowe-also a member of NERC's Critical Infrastructure Protection Committee (CIPC)-adds that the NERC implementation schedule is just one impetus for utilities and NERC members to make the cyber-security upgrades they already should have been making.

"We need to be proactive in this," Bowe says. "We don't need standards to get us motivated to continually enhance our security."