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Electric Grid Cyberattacks

Utility companies and grids are becoming increasingly vulnerable to cyber attacks. The Manhattan Institute recently released a report warning that although greater grid-Internet connectivity results in greener, smarter grids, these grids are also more likely to be the targets of hackers. The frequency of cyberattacks has increased by 60% annually within the last twelve years, and...

EU-U.S. Privacy Shield – Full Text Released

On February 29, 2016, the European Commission released the text of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield. The text reveals the details of a new framework that will place stronger obligations on U.S. companies to protect the personal data of EU citizens. It will also involve heightened compliance requirements and authorizes enforcement measures by the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) and the...

EU-US Privacy Shield: European Union and U.S. Reach Agreement in Principle for New Data Transfer Framework – But Uncertainty Remains

On February 2, 2016, the European Commission (EC) and the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) announced that they had reached agreement on a new data transfer safe harbor arrangement for the transfer of personal data from Europe to the U.S. The new safe harbor pact, called the EU-US Privacy Shield, was negotiated in the wake of the EU Court of Justice’s (CJEU) decision in October...

Space Weather Strategy and Action Plan

Owners and operators of critical infrastructure are encouraged to coordinate with electric power providers to ensure response and recovery following outages resulting from space-weather events. Space weather refers to variations in the space environment between the sun and earth, such as geomagnetic storms, that can cause hazardous conditions and disruptions of the power grid. The...

NIST Releases Access Management Guidance for Energy Companies

A division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released draft guidance for energy companies to manage access to their networked resources, including industrial control systems and information technology. In the draft guidance, the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) offers step-by-step instructions to help energy companies address the risk...

DOE Issues Voluntary Cybersecurity Guidelines

Utilities, as well as third-party contractors and vendors, should take notice of government-led initiatives pertaining to the smart grid and related cybersecurity matters. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a proposed Voluntary Code of Conduct (VCC) that provides smart-grid cybersecurity guidance and addresses privacy in the use of data collected by advanced metering...

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