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Cyber Warning: Time To Get Serious About Energy Infrastructure

Electrical transmission towers at night.

January 14, 2022

The Department of Homeland Security has officially declared there are 18 critical infrastructure sectors in the United States. According to Jeh Charles Johnson, in this post from The Atlantic Council, none is more critical than the energy sector.

“In the energy sector in particular,” he says, “assets of critical infrastructure are becoming increasingly interconnected and increasingly vulnerable to a cyberattack of widespread consequences. And just as every organ of the human body depends on a healthy heart, all of the other sectors of critical infrastructure depend on the energy sector.”

Johnson comes to the issue with some impressive credentials. He served as general counsel for the U.S. Air Force, and then, from 2009 to 2012, as general counsel for the entire Department of Defense. In 2013, he became the fourth U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, a position he held for more than three years.  Now a partner at law firm Paul, Weiss, this post is the text of remarks he delivered at an Atlantic Council event, “Securing the energy and critical infrastructure sectors from cyberattacks.”

He notes that in the recently passed infrastructure bill, nearly $2 billion has been earmarked for making infrastructure more resistant to cyberattacks But there is more to be done he says, and he concludes with seven recommendations.

 

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