Cybersecurity tests likely for imported power equipment – Economic Times

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NEW DELHI: The government plans to lay down stringent regulations for multi-level checks on equipment imported for the domestic power distribution sector to prevent the electricity grid from cyber attacks.

A senior government official told ET that the government will lay down product-wise technical specifications and regulations to ensure that only audited and tested equipment are connected to the electricity grid.

The regulations will be country neutral and will aim at boosting local manufacturing, said the official, who did not wish to be identified.

In addition to this, the government plans to develop a testing facility for cybersecurity where sourced equipment can be tested for malware before installation and periodically after commissioning.

The Central Electricity Authority will amend the regulations so that only authentic equipment is installed in the grid, the official said. “The authority will also lay down testing standards and procedures for cyber security compliance,” he said.

Cyber attacks on the electricity grid could have a debilitating impact on national security, governance, economy and social well-being of the nation.

Cybersecurity tests likely for imported power equipment

Transportation, banking, telecom and defence are the other critical sectors.

The domestic electrical equipment industry has been raising concerns over contracts awarded to Chinese companies for installation of supervisory control and data acquisition systems (SCADA) for power distribution that can lead to foreign control over a sector critical to the country’s growth.

Many contracts for implementation of SCADA—for better power distribution and management— in Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Puducherry have been bagged by foreign power equipment companies.