Photographer: Luke Sharett/Bloomberg

U.S. Proposes New Cyber Security Controls to Protect Power Grid

U.S. grid operators will have to take measures to guard against the risk of being infected by malware from electronic devices like laptops and thumb drives under proposals put forward by the nation’s top energy regulator.

The aim is to mitigate cyber-security risks that could affect the reliability of the grid, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said in a release on Thursday.

The regulator will ask the North American Electric Reliability Corporation -- which monitors the grids -- to provide clear criteria for electronic access controls for “low-impact” cyber systems and seek ways to reduce the threat posed by malicious code.

The Energy Department said in a report in January that the electricity system faces “imminent danger” from cyber-attacks, A successful hack could cause widespread power failures, undermine national defense systems and hurt the economy.

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