• Chris Bratton - Tech Journalist

President Biden implements “Action Plan” to protect against hacking threats of power grids

The Biden administration's urgent policy and technical movement called "action plan" has been installed to protect power grids from new threats. These threats include hackings of higher authority surveillance, power grids and a few more tripwires that have been knocked. It called for further actions to pick up and rethink decisions that impact the whole country.

In 2014 on a single breach in Yahoo leaked the personal information of 500 million users. It is thought of as the biggest cyber-attack of this decade. Another reason that had a huge impact on the decision is the Equifax data breach. Equifax is one of the largest agencies in the U.S, and it suffered in 2017. Hundreds of millions of users were affected. The company has financial health records of almost everyone in the U.S. These chain attacks made further reaction by the latest security threats.

A 100-day sprint will be held with the U.S. power grid protection movement. A plan from the White House addressed this situation with the privacy act. Implementing these fast actions is thought of as an initial response system to protect, similarly against cyber-attacks. The ruling consists of all power production companies or electrical companies having layered protection. And the individual actions will be tracked until further notice. The new legislation will leave this protection act against political efforts, so it doesn't easily digest. Sudden political tripwires will not affect additional security measurements.

A new monitoring system with sophisticated equipment will help security personals detect and act against potential hackings quickly and effectively. The Department of Energy will have classified groups included in the program to find flaws in the system. They will try to hack the system themselves to find loopholes in the existing system, prone to illegal and remote access in plain words. Continuous power is essential to have an uninterrupted life. Electricity, gas, oil, or water goes through a controlled environment for obvious reasons. If the plan doesn't pass, it could leave millions of people without the necessary daily commodities.

Christopher Pinter, the highest authority of the U.S. Cybersecurity department, declared the need for an action plan like this, starting with grid operations. Even nuclear fusion powers will go under excess level moderated than it already is. The power grid is not is a solo platform. It consists of companies that are owned by multiple governments, urban directories and large facilities. Recovering from cyber threats in smaller areas will not be hard, but cities, which are the backbone of countries, are different stories.

Most of the navigations for operating facilities can be handled remotely. And while it is not easy for anyone to access, it's not in the dark either. An organisation with enough power and manipulation can cause fatal damage. Online warfare is pretty dangerous as it can stop a whole economy with the click of buttons. Only in the U.S, there are 9,700 power plants. They need urgent protection, and it is not a big brainer. But how we do it and keep the flow, as usual, is the question.

Software and hardware protection should work together flawlessly to achieve the peak of this action plan. A report back in 2015 said the massive cyberattack executed that year caused 93 million people to go in darkness and out of power. At the same time, this was an experimental study that was used to infiltrate many measurements. By grinding numbers today, we can visualise the threat differently. A power outage only caused those people to be in the dark in only 19 states.

So Bided rushes to protect the power grid as hacking threats grow. The voluntary plan from the White House is well thought and is much needed for its time. A smaller power outage may flag other potential leakages in the system for further mass attacks. Enough funding and security training alongside the implantation of new rules that directly affect how the security system works is important. These acts will also be protected against unfortunate plans. Decision making, utility prohibiting and safeguarding sensitive data will be the first phase of the security plan.