Biden: top energy regulator proposes new standards to check hackers

Biden: top energy regulator proposes new standards to check hackers

According to the country's top energy regulator, the US power grids need to boost their cyber defenses to find hackers faster, so they can keep control over operations.

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According to a notice issued Thursday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is proposing to develop standards to monitor devices or equipment on bulk power systems. The proposed standards would seek to find hackers lurking within networks, rather than current efforts that use a perimeter defense that focuses on trying to keep attackers out of sensitive networks.

A massive breach using software from Texas-based SolarWinds Corp. in 2020 is one example of how attackers can bypass defenses through trusted vendors, FERC said.

In a Thursday briefing, FERC Chairman Richard Glick said that we can't let our guard down on cybersecurity at all, and we need to constantly monitor whether the standards are appropriate. As soon as possible, businesses need to know it and be able to take action on it if they try to get in and get into the system. There is a 60 day comment period for the proposal. The commission is expected to order North American Electric Reliability Corp., an international body charged with reducing risks to energy grids, to revise or submit new rules to address the gap.

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