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U.S. Electric Grid Needs Cohesive Cybersecurity Policy, VT Law School Study Finds

October 13, 2011

SOUTH ROYALTON, VT -- Securing America's electric grid is a key part of preventing terrorist attacks on the country's power, water supply and telecommunication systems, but the United States lacks a comprehensive cybersecurity policy for its electricity sector despite having plentiful government policies for protecting other infrastructure, according to a Vermont Law School report.Image of electric tower

"Smart-grid technology, which may rely on computer networks to intelligently manage electricity, makes having a cohesive policy all the more important," Zhen Zhang, an attorney specializing in energy and environmental law and a global energy fellow at VLS's Institute for Energy and the Environment, wrote in a recent article in National Defense.

In a recent article in Environmental Practice, Zhang said mandatory government cybersecurity standards in the electric industry need improvement, but that at a basic level they are protecting information networks, resources, and systems from cyber and physical threats. "The electric industry's cybersecurity standards may serve as a model for other industries," she said.

Read the National Defense article. Read the Environmental Practice article.

Zhang can be reached at

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