Hack the Plant Episode 16: Cyber Challenges to Securing Our Electric System

“Initially it was looking at specific types of attacks and thinking how those could be utilized against our systems, but then it became more sophisticated in thinking of how these attacks could be coordinated together by larger actors? ….  I think that regulation’s role is more to draw attention and provide you with a base minimum, and then from there, it’s the responsibility of those industries of those actors to step up and design the systems and implement true security.” – David Coher

How can our electrical grid system anticipate cybersecurity attacks? What is the nature of its vulnerability to attack, and what role can regulation play in securing our future?

In this episode, we hear from David Coher, leader of Southern California Edison’s (SCE) Energy Contract Management team, which manages their long-term energy procurement contracts (approximately $4 billion, annually). David is an attorney, who moved from real estate litigation to SCE where he established programs for cybersecurity, participation in California’s Greenhouse Gas emissions Cap & Trade market, and Dodd-Frank compliance.

We discussed how the power grid works and the changing landscape of keeping our energy grids safe from cyber attacks. We also explored the challenges of establishing a regulatory compliance program – in particular how to anticipate cybersecurity threats.

What is next for SCE? What are some potential opportunities and threats on the horizon for the safety of our electric grid? Join us to learn more.

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DISCLAIMER: “The opinions expressed by David Coher are his own and do not necessarily represent the positions, strategies or opinions of Southern California Edison, its parent company Edison International, or any of their affiliates.”


Joshua Corman: 

Our dependence on connected technology is growing faster than our ability to secure it, especially in areas affecting public safety and human life.

Bryson Bort: 

I’m Bryson Bort. And this is Hack the Plant. Electricity, finance, transportation, our water supply. We take these critical…