Opportunities and Challenges for State Utility Regulators
Sherina Maye Edwards is a Commissioner on the Illinois Commerce Commission. She takes an interest in electric reliability, pipeline safety and critical infrastructure issues. Commissioner Edwards earned a J.D. from Howard University School of Law. Caitlin M. Shields is an Associate at Wilkinson, Barker, Knauer, LLP. She focuses her practice on energy and environmental regulation. Caitlin earned her J.D. at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Nakhia C. Crossley is legal counsel and policy advisor to Commissioner Edwards. Nakhia provides analysis and research on the regulation of the energy, telecommunications, water, and transportation industries. Nakhia earned her J.D. from Thomas Jefferson School of Law. Anne McKeon joined the Illinois Commerce Commission as a legal and policy advisor to Commissioner Sherina Maye Edwards in August 2015. Anne earned her J.D. from Notre Dame Law School.
Public utility companies touch nearly every person's life on a daily basis through the transmission, distribution and consumption of gas, electricity and water. They also increasingly rely on networked technology to conduct their business.
However, attackers are acting faster, becoming more sophisticated, and getting more strategic in their attacks, including their abilities to navigate the increased complexity and connectivity of critical infrastructure systems.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT) recently reported that the energy sector has become the biggest cybersecurity target in America. The ICS-CERT 2015 Incident Response Statistics Report accounted for two hundred ninety-five energy sector-related incidents last year alone.
Last year, a Lloyd's of London report found that a widespread attack on the U.S. grid could lead to an economic loss ranging from two hundred forty-three billion up to a trillion dollars. Fallout could include a rise in mortality rates, a decline in trade, disruption to water supplies and transportation chaos.