The April 2013 sniper attack on Pacific Gas and Electric’s Metcalf substation has been described as a “wake-up call” or an alarm for the electric utility industry to apply closer scrutiny to the vulnerability of key infrastructure to various kinds of attack – whether physical, as in the Metcalf shooting, or in the form of cyber-attacks that might impair physical operations.
The white paper goes into detailed discussion of three major topics. The first is about identifying a process for the prioritization of strategic electrical facilities and determining appropriate security measures or approaches to ensuring resiliency of the system. The second discusses establishing practices for the exchange of highly-confidential or “sensitive” information between utilities and the Commission. The last topic goes into confirming whether existing incident reporting requirements are adequate. These three subject areas are examined with an eye toward ensuring appropriate regulatory oversight of jurisdictional utility operational performance, and providing a mechanism for entities not subject to CPUC ratemaking authority to identify their own most appropriate measures.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS)/National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD)/Office of Cyber and Infrastructure Analysis (OCIA) assesses that unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) provide malicious actors an additional method of gaining undetected proximity to networks and equipment within critical infrastructure sectors. Malicious actors could use this increased proximity to exploit unsecured wireless systems and exfiltrate information. Malicious actors could also exploit vulnerabilities within UASs and UAS supply chains to compromise UASs belonging to critical infrastructure operators and disrupt or interfere with legitimate UAS operations.