Indian government creates four sectoral Computer Emergency Response Teams to protect Smart Grids
The Indian government has created four different sectoral Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) focusing on specific areas to mitigate cybersecurity threats in power systems.
This was stated by the Union Minister of State for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines in a written reply to a question on steps taken for reducing vulnerability of Smart Power Grid Technology to cyber threats, in Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Parliament. Smart grids are an integral component of smart cities and an attack on one can have potentially debilitating impact.
Several steps have been taken by the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) and National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC) to make power utilities and key stakeholders aware to take precautions against cyber threats.
The four CERTs will operate in the areas of Transmission, Thermal, Hydro and Distribution and coordinate with power utilities. The relevant stakeholders of Smart Grid have been advised to identify critical infrastructure and use end to end encryption for data security.
Underlining the importance of ownership for cybersecurity, all utilities have been asked to identify a nodal senior executive as their Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). The CISO will lead the process of strengthening organisational systems with respect to cyber security and implement an Information Security Management System, as recommended by rules framed under the Information Technology (IT) Act 2008.