CybersecurityWhite House to offer cybersecurity incentives to critical infrastructure operators

Published 8 August 2013

In an effort to encourage critical infrastructure companies to adopt the measures which will be recommended by the forthcoming, NIST-developed cybersecurity framework, the White House has proposed a set of incentives to the operators of power plants, water companies, and other critical infrastructure facilities.

In an effort to encourage critical infrastructure companies to adopt the measures which will be recommended by the forthcoming, NIST-developed cybersecurity framework, the White House has proposed a set of incentives to the operators of power plants, water companies, and other critical infrastructure facilities.

Cnet reports that the framework being developed by NIST will dove-tail with many of the elements included in President Barack Obama February executive order.

“The systems that run our nation’s critical infrastructure such as the electric grid, our drinking water, our trains, and other transportation are increasingly networked,” the White House wrote in a blog post Tuesday. “As with any networked system, these systems are potentially vulnerable to a wide range of threats, and protecting this critical infrastructure from cyber threats is among our highest security priorities.”

The incentives program will include cybersecurity insurance, priority consideration for grants, and streamlined regulations. In order to be eligible for the incentives, companies must first agree to accept and implement the guidelines in the government’s cybersecurity framework.

The cybersecurity framework will be finalized in October, and the draft is scheduled for release early next year.

Earlier this year Congress released a report which found that power utilities in the United States are under “daily” cyberattacks. Almost 160 utilities were surveyed in the report, and more than a dozen of them reported “daily,” “constant,” or “frequent” attempted cyberattacks on their computer systems. The surveyed utilities, however, did not report damages to their facilities or system breaches.

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