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GAO Officials Question Power Grid Security Before House Subpanel

Photo: Energy.gov

Government Accountability Office representatives told a House subcommittee Tuesday technology enables a more effective power grid network but the security of the network could be stronger.

Gregory Wilshusen and David Trimble testified to the House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations subcommittee that insecure smart grid networks are dangerous to national security.

Securing the power grid has presented difficulties in the past since it is operated by the private sector and the threats of a cyber attack are unclear, Wilshusen and Trimble said.

GAO reported last year there was a lack of coordination monitoring critical infrastructure and not enough information sharing between public and private sectors.

Subcommittee Chairman Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) said technical advancements for power grids should focus on better security as much as providing better service.

Congress is simultaneously considering legislation that would give the Department of Homeland Security more authority over critical infrastructure in the event of an attack and promote more information sharing.

Richard Campbell, a Congressional Research Service analyst, said it is unlikely that effective cybersecurity of the grid will be achieved by regulation alone, National Journal reports.

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