Energy networks, News

The government has set up an industry taskforce to draw up a strategy to restore the grid in the event of a nationwide power failure triggered by a cyber-attack.

According to the pan-government National Security Capability Review, published yesterday (28 March), the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is working on the issue with a taskforce of representatives from across the energy sector.

The work is designed to enhance the UK’s ability to respond to nationwide power by ensuring a “robust and effective” strategy to restore the network in the event of a nationwide power failure.

The taskforce is being run alongside cross-sector work led by the Cabinet Office on how to mitigate and respond to security threats to the UK’s infrastructure.

The review says: “Despite greater awareness, cyber security in the majority of organisations and households across the UK has not kept pace with the threat, and attacks continue to target our critical national infrastructure.”

Concerns over potential Russian cyber-attacks on the UK’s energy infrastructure have become increasingly pressing over the last year.

The document, which has been drawn up as part of the government’s ongoing implementation of the 2015 National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review, also says that a review of infrastructure policing has been completed.

It says the government is now considering ways to optimise the police protection of critical infrastructure, such as our nuclear sites.

And it says a regulatory framework for cyber security in critical sectors is due to be implemented by May 2018.

Protection of infrastructure, alongside people and economic security, is the prime stated objective of the 2015 review.

What to read next