China is very worried about its quickly expanding electricity infrastructure, so worried that it plans to increase its grid security spending from $1.8 billion in 2011 to a whopping $50 billion by 2020, according to a new report from the business analysts at GlobalData. That's a very impressive compound annual growth rate of almost 45%.
The country's rapidly expanding urbanization and its ambitious smart grid construction initiatives mean the cost of securing all access points will be massive, GlobalData says, adding that it considers the Chinese security market to be an 'anomaly' when compared to other regions. Security spending in the U.S. and Europe combined is expected to be a relatively moderate $16 billion over the same period of time.
GlobalData notes that China has a "strained relationship with a number of nations" as far as cyber security is concerned, specifically the U.S. which has accused Chinese hackers of trying to attack their power systems. As a GlobalData press release put it: "Such accusations may have fostered an environment of mistrust in which the Chinese authorities expect retaliatory cyber attacks on their own power infrastructure."
The report also pointed to the Stuxnet computer worm, discovered in 2010, as an example of how vulnerable electric grids are to cyber attack. The worm concentrated on five Iran-based organizations and was widely believed to have been an attempt to impede Iran's nuclear power program.
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