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Los Alamos National Laboratory Director Charlie McMillan told a gathering of energy executives Tuesday that securing the electrical grid is a major concern right now and it’s only going to become more serious.
“If you look back at the last year, there were several hundred attacks on critical infrastructure,” McMillan said, addressing attendees at the Deloitte Energy Conference near Washington, D.C. “More than 40 percent of those attacks were on the energy sector.”
Resilience and reliability of the electrical grid have become key energy security concerns at the Laboratory and are important focus areas in global security. Experience with massive amounts of data, complex systems and security technology involved in nuclear weapons research are now providing insights for grid security, McMillan said.
“In the time it takes me to say this sentence, the external firewalls of Los Alamos will be challenged hundreds of times by adversaries. Our systems, and yours, are very attractive.” McMillan said. “But encrypting control signals on the grid is particularly challenging because any encryption scheme must be able to meet competing standards for very rapid response and high security.”
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