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Cybersecurity Among Top Energy Industry Concerns

Attacks on an electric facility and increased attention from regulators has fueled concern about safeguarding facilities.

Cybersecurity leapt onto the list of the top five concerns for U.S. electric utilities this year, yet fewer than a third say they’re prepared to meet the growing threat of an attack, according to a new survey.

“The industry is paying attention and actively seeking ways to bolster security practices to limit power system vulnerability,” says an annual report from the consulting, construction and engineering firm Black & Veatch titled “2014 Strategic Directions: U.S. Electric Industry.” “We are seeing an industry that is actively moving forward with the deployment of comprehensive asset protection plans following several high-profile cyber and physical threat events.”

However, only 32 percent of electric utilities surveyed for the report had integrated security systems with the “proper segmentation, monitoring and redundancies” needed for cyberthreat protection. Another 48 percent said they did not.

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