Duane Highley, CEO of the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas, testified before the U.S. House Energy and Commerce committee, which is examining steps that the federal government and private sector are taking to bolster the security of the electric grid against cyber attacks.

Highley said that cooperation of industry and government groups has resulted in significant standards to protect the nation’s electric grid, but he also called for more information to be shared.

“Given the constantly evolving landscape of cyber risks, the industry recognizes that not every threat or vulnerability can or should be addressed in a standard,” said Highley. “Much of the information needed to fully understand the nature of the cyber threats faced by our industry is classified at a level that is unavailable to our organizations.”

You can read his full comments here.

Also, Peter Urban with Stephens Media’s Washington, D.C. bureau reports:

The number of reported cyber security incidents affecting critical infrastructure control systems increased from nine in 2009 to 198 in 2011, according to a federal report.

Republicans and Democrats disagree on the approach Congress should take to protect the nation’s electrical grid infrastructure.

Republicans spoke favorably of a “voluntary” approach that would have the government provide incentives — such as tax credits and liability protections — to encourage an industry-led effort to bolster security of critical infrastructure.

Democrats raised concerns that some regulations may be needed to insure the protection of the electric grid and other critical infrastructure.

You can access the full Stephens Media report here.

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