JEFFERSON CITY – The Missouri Public Service Commission anticipates that recent technology upgrades to the state’s electric grid–which make the grid more reliable, more efficient and helps it adapt to new energy sources–could also make it vulnerable to cyber attack.
To address the possibility of cyber criminals hacking the grid, the Public Service Commission is soliciting information from Missouri’s four regulated utility companies: Ameren Missouri, Kansas City Power & Light Co., KCP&L-Greater Missouri Operations Co. and The Empire District Electric Co.
At the moment, the commission said it sees no specific cybersecurity threat, but is exploring the issue because of potential harm to consumers.
The commission will send the companies a list of 47 detailed questions about their cyber protection. They will then use the information collected from the surveys determine an action plan for increasing awareness and adjusting rules. A plan could include future workshops, on-the-record presentations, or rulemaking.
“Because cybersecurity threats challenge the reliability, resiliency and safety of the electric grid, and because utility spending to address cyber vulnerabilities can impact the bills that customers pay, the Commission must explore, and ensure, the integrity of the electric utilities’ internal cybersecurity practices,” said the Commission.