The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities announces that they adopted a new set of regulations and policies against cyber attacks to different sectors such as the state’s electricity, natural gas, water and wastewater utilities.
Each company in the said utilities will be required to develop and assess different types of programs and procedures against cyber attacks. This includes identifying and mitigating risks, instantly reporting cyber breaches and malicious activities, and creating backup plans and incident response teams in case such breaches might happen.
According to BPU President Richard Mroz said in a statement, “As cyberattacks against utility systems nationwide continue to increase in number and sophistication, addressing cybersecurity is a top priority to enhancing the security and reliability of utility service in New Jersey and across the nation.”
The Board of Public Utilities will continue to support and encourage public utilities to engage in enhancing cyber security measures. Furthermore, the board is working with private sectors to determine further cyber threats. Department of Homeland Security is also on hands in helping the board to provide a malicious-free cyber utility grid.
This move is in response to escalating threats in the cyber world in the past years. An investigation coming from an Associate Press proves that in the past years, foreign hackers have gained access to the U.S. electric grid.
If they have enough remote access in the utility sector, they can freely control electric and water switches on and off, denying most of the citizens necessary things they need.