NEMA's newly released white paper on Standardizing the Classification of Intelligence Levels and Performance of Electricity Supply Chains — unveiled publicly during a webinar last Friday — is the association's initial contribution to a broad effort to modernize the electrical grid. And now the goal of creating a "smart," self-healing, more efficient electrical grid is more important than ever, with new revelations that criminals have started targeting power grids in other countries.
 
As reported in PC World this past weekend, a CIA analyst recently told a conference of security pros that criminals are now using the internet to disrupt power equipment in other countries. The objective of these attacks is extortion, though the tactics could be used for terrorist purposes as well. While FERC has just announced new mandatory standards to improve cybersecurity for the bulk power system, the obvious long-term solution to such a threat is to modernize our system.
 
The time to move forward with this initiative is now, especially considering it could take decades to fully implement a nationwide Smart Grid. NEMA will do its part here, having been named in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 as a participant in efforts by NIST to create a system to enhance the productivity, efficiency, and sustainability of the electricity grid.

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