Cyber Threats to the Texas Electric Grid

Malicious cyber activity costs the U.S. economy upward of $100 billion and over half a million jobs every year. According to Keith Burkhardt, vice president of Kraus-Anderson Insurance, 60 percent of companies that suffer a data breach are out of business within six months.

The state government and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the utility organization that manages the grid, could come together to craft policies to protect the grid. The most effective and affordable way to protect from cyber-attack would also protect against both Electromagnetic Pulses (EMPs) and solar storms.

Texas legislators and utilities can no longer rely on reactive antivirus and intrusion detection policies pushed down from the federal government. They have the opportunity to craft comprehensive, state-level policies that would fortify the Texas grid against an advanced cyber-attack.

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