FERC to open cybersecurity office


Jon Wellinghoff,
Chairman, FERC
Washington, DC, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — September 24, 2012 – The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is to create a new office that will help to focus on potential cyber and physical security risks to energy facilities under its jurisdiction, chairman Jon Wellinghoff has announced.

The new Office of Energy Infrastructure Security (OEIS) will provide leadership, expertise and assistance to the Commission to identify, communicate and seek comprehensive solutions to potential risks to FERC jurisdictional facilities from cyber attacks and such physical threats as electromagnetic pulses.

“Creating this office allows FERC to leverage its existing resources with those of other government agencies and private industry in a coordinated, focused manner,” Wellinghoff said. “Effective mitigation of cyber and other physical attacks requires rapid interactions among regulators, industry and federal and state agencies.”

OEIS activities will include:

  • Developing recommendations for identifying, communicating and mitigating potential cyber and physical security threats and vulnerabilities to FERC jurisdictional energy facilities
  • Providing assistance, expertise and advice to other federal and state agencies, jurisdictional utilities and Congress in identifying, communicating and mitigating such threats and vulnerabilities
  • Participating in interagency and intelligence related coordination and collaboration efforts with appropriate federal and state agencies and industry representatives on cyber and physical security matters
  • Conducting outreach with private sector owners, users and operators of energy delivery systems regarding identification, communication and mitigation of cyber and physical threats to the FERC jurisdictional energy facilities.

To continue the Commission’s oversight of reliability of the nation’s bulk power system, FERC will continue to work closely with the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC).

The OEIS will be led by Joseph McClelland, who has been director of the Office of Electric Reliability since its formation in 2006. The Office of Electric Reliability will be led by Ted Franks, who will serve as acting director.