Cyber attacks on the nation’s critical infrastructure (CI) are up — way up, particularly in the energy sector. The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT) reported earlier this year that there were a third more cyber incidents (111) reported by the energy sector in the six-month reporting period ending in May than in the previous 12 months (81).
But so far, the power grid, transportation, water and other control systems dont seem to be going down in any catastrophic way. And an executive order this past February from President Obama calls for frameworks for the protection of CI to be implemented by February 2014.
Does that mean the multiple warnings about catastrophic damage to U.S. industrial control systems (ICS) from cyber attacks are overblown?
There is still debate about that among experts. As some regularly point out, regions of the nation have survived major blackouts in the past, including the blackout and other associated damage to the northeast from Superstorm Sandy just months ago, in October 2012. Given that, surely the U.S. can survive a major CI cyber attack.