Standards, Information Sharing, and Partnerships
James Robb is president and chief executive officer of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation.
Electricity is vital to our way of life. Everything we do relies on the ability of utilities to deliver power when the consumer wants it — from our smart phones, to automatic tellers, to pumping gas. Electricity is the most critical of critical infrastructures.
While we expect power on demand, the United States' adversaries have targeted the electric grid to seek political, economic, and military advantage. Hostile nations, terrorists, and non-state actors conduct persistent cyber espionage in pursuit of access to the control systems that operate our energy network.
While no domestic cyberattack has succeeded in causing a loss of power, we know from intelligence reports that other nations - Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea to name a few - have the capability to temporarily disrupt electric service or natural gas pipelines in the United States at the local level for a least a few hours.
The cyber threat to our grid is growing in persistence and sophistication. Effective defense requires continued vigilance by the array of partnerships and programs in place to protect the grid.