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Cybersecurity Guidelines for Power Sector

  • 08 Oct 2021
  • 3 min read

Why in News

Recently, the government released cybersecurity guidelines for the power sector.

  • This is the first time that a comprehensive guideline has been formulated on cyber security in the power sector.
  • The guidelines are a precursor to cybersecurity regulations that the Central Electricity Authority (CEA, Ministry of Power) is working on.

Key Points

  • About:
    • CEA has framed the guidelines under the Central Electricity Authority (Technical Standards for Connectivity to the Grid) (Amendment) Regulations, 2019.
    • It lays down a cyber assurance framework, strengthens the regulatory framework, puts in place mechanisms for security threat early warning, vulnerability management and response to security threats, and secures remote operations and services, among others.
    • The norms are applicable to all responsible entities as well as system integrators, equipment manufacturers, suppliers/ vendors, service providers, and Information Technology (IT) hardware and software OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) engaged in the Indian power supply system.
      • Responsible Entities include power generation utilities, distribution utilities, transmission companies and load dispatch centres among others.
  • Major Guidelines:
    • Procure from Trusted Source:
      • Mandates Information & Communication Technology-based procurement from identified 'trusted sources' and 'trusted products' or else the product has to be tested for malware/hardware trojan before deployment for use in the power supply system network.
    • Chief Information Security Officer:
      • Appointment of a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) at each responsible entity as well as the setting up of an Information Security Division headed by the CISO.
    • Procedure for Identifying and Reporting:
      • The entities will also be required to incorporate a procedure for identifying and reporting any disturbances suspected or confirmed to be caused by sabotage and submit the report to the sectoral CERT and Computer Emergency Response Team -India (CERT-In) within 24 hours.
  • Significance:
    • It will promote research and development in cybersecurity and open up the market for setting up cyber testing infra in public as well as private sectors in the country.

Source: IE

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