Cyber attacks pose a clear threat to electric power systems. But as these attacks proliferate, utilities, regulators and governments continue to grapple with understanding the scale of the risks they face and determining the most effective responses.
To date, efforts to secure transmission networks have captured the most attention. But distribution grids also face major risks from cyber attack. Attacks on industrial control systems such as SCADA systems could result in blackouts, disrupting industry as well as vital services such as transportation and health. Accenture’s Digitally Enabled Grid survey reveals that distribution business executives cite interruptions to supply as their greatest cyber attack-related concern, closely followed by potential impacts on customer and employee safety.