It shouldn't be big news by now that the number of cyber attacks against critical U.S. infrastructure has grown dramatically in the past few years, and that our level of preparedness is generally considered dismally low.
In response, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission stepped into the saddle with the announcement of a new cyber security strategy: the Office of Energy Infrastructure Security (OEIS).
As FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff put it, "Creating this new office allows FERC to leverage its existing resources with those of other government agencies and private industry in a coordinated, focused manner. Effective mitigation of cyber and other physical attacks requires rapid interactions among regulators, industry and federal and state agencies."
Among its core responsibilities, OEIS will recommend ways to identify, communicate and mitigate potential threats to energy facilities under FERC jurisdiction, provide assistance and expertise to other state and federal agencies, participate with other agencies and collaborative initiatives on security threats and communicate with the private sector and energy delivery systems owners, users and operators on threat mitigation and other related efforts.