The nation’s electrical grid is supposed to be treated as a whole for security purposes, but isn’t, says a report from the MIT Energy Initiative. That’s because security standards apply only “to the bulk power system and (do) not include the distribution system.”
“Distribution utilities on the local level are operating outside current regulations, making managing the entire grid practically impossible,” the MIT researchers add.
So the MIT group is recommending that “the federal government should designate a single agency to have responsibility for working with industry and to have appropriate regulatory authority to enhance cybersecurity preparedness, response, and recovery across the electric power sector, including bulk power and distribution systems.”
So try picturing the Department of Homeland Security as being ultimately responsible for whether your lights are on, or not.