ENERGY, OTHER UTILITIES’ CYBERSECURITY IS WEAK

New Study Underscores Need for Critical Infrastructure Security Standards

WASHINGTON – Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn., Thursday said a new cybersecurity study underscores the need for security standards to protect the nation’s most critical networks.

The third biennial Carnegie Mellon University CyLab survey of boards of directors and senior management found “a gap in understanding the linkage between information technology risks and enterprise risk management.” According to the study, 57 percent of energy and utility company executives said they rarely or never reviewed security program assessments.  The energy sector and other utilities ranked lowest among industries in security management of their cyber assets.

“The poor cybersecurity ranking of the energy sector and other utilities reinforces repeated warnings about the vulnerability of our most critical infrastructure,” Lieberman said. “These are not scare tactics. They are facts. And, given recent reports of cyber attacks on natural gas pipelines, they are facts too disturbing to ignore. Congress must move without delay - before a cyber attack occurs – to require the most insecure networks to meet minimum security requirements. As national security, homeland security, and intelligence officials have clearly stated, information sharing is not enough. Security standards must be put in place to protect our national security, our economic security, and the future of our country.”

Lieberman and Senators Susan Collins, R-Maine, Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., are lead sponsors of the Cybersecurity Act of 2012, which would require the least secure critical infrastructure networks to work with the Department of Homeland Security to meet minimum security requirements.

 

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