Security Technology Executive

NOV-DEC 2017

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Page 23 of 71

24 SECURIT Y TECHNOLOGY E XECUTIVE • November/December 2017 • www. INFRASTRUCTURE FOCUS T he Department of Home- land Security said it well, "Everything is dependent on electricity. Without electricity, we're basically back in the 1850s." It 's often hard to imagine the chaos that could ensue if the power grid were to experience a major issue. Most of us would find it extremely difficult to live without electricity, internet, televi- sion, refrigeration or telephone for a few hours, let alone days or weeks. Unfor- tunately, it is not a remote scenario, as the power grid has many vulnerabilities and threats. In addressing this concern, the use of intelligent video surveillance solutions, deployed using guidelines from industry oversight, such as NERC CIP014, has proven an effective approach to miti- gating these power grid vulnerabilities. Threats on the power grid When the security of the power grid is considered, the risk of terrorism typically rises as a major concern, with good jus- tification. Should a terrorist desire, there are many ways to target the grid. A well- known vulnerability is the fact that less than three percent of all transformers in the U.S. are high-voltage, but 60 percent to 70 percent of the nation's electricity passes through them. An attack on one of these transformers would be signifi- cant, much less a coordinated attack on several. The problem is the difficulty in predicting any type of terrorist attack; however, actions can be taken to reduce the likelihood and the resulting impact. Another vulnerability is the threat of copper theft. The annual monetary loss resulting from this activity, totaling to nearly $1 billion dollars in the U.S. each year, is itself a strong case for action, but Protecting the Power Grid A look at NERC CIP-014 using video surveillance By Eric Olson Protecting the power grid has emerged as a federal government priority. GENERATING PLANTS TRANSMISSION INFRASTRUCTURE

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