Our Dependence on Electricity Requires Better Security for Utility Providers
If you’re like me, you know that a fully charged cellphone battery and a decent Wi-Fi connection are the bare minimum requirements to ensure productivity. We live in an era where productivity should theoretically be at an all-time high thanks to innovation with an emphasis on convenience.
Innovation has also led to a dependency on all things connected. From our kitchen appliances to our entertainment, everything we use on a daily basis requires electricity. To some, this dependence could be seen as a weakness.
Roughly a year-and-a-half ago, a group of gunmen fired 100 rounds into a Pacific Gas & Electric substation. The attack lasted a mere 19 minutes but had the potential to wipe out the electric grid for a majority of San Diego.
In the wake of those attacks, PG&E promised to spend $100 million over the next three years to beef up security and prevent an attack like that from happening again. An NBC local affiliate investigation this week showed that while some security guards had been added, there were still flaws in the company’s approach to security.
The threat of attacks and terror on the United States is constant and fluid, with a strike from internal and/or external forces always on the horizon. If someone wanted to cripple the country but not cause death, these kinds of attacks would certainly be a viable option.
Because of this, both utility companies and government agencies need to take a good hard look at improving security around our utilities. A few decades ago it would seem like a strike to our water supply might be the most dangerous. While that is still probably the case, a strike to our electricity supply could do an incredible amount of damage and destroy communication lines.
Posted by Matt Holden on Sep 24, 2014