U.S. FERC Proposes Revisions to Cybersecurity Incentives for Utilities

On September 22, 2022, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) regarding Incentives for Advanced Cybersecurity Investment, requesting comment on proposed revisions to regulations implementing the Federal Power Act (FPA). The revisions would provide incentive-based rate treatments for the transmission of electric energy in interstate commerce and the sale of electric energy at wholesale in interstate commerce by utilities for certain voluntary cybersecurity investments. The NOPR was issued in response to a Congressional mandate set forth in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021, which directed FERC to establish cybersecurity incentives that would encourage investments by utilities in advanced cybersecurity technology and participation in cybersecurity threat information sharing programs. This NOPR replaces a prior cybersecurity incentives NOPR from December 2020.

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U.S. Government Issues Warning of Threat Against U.S. Critical Infrastructure

On February 25, 2022, in light of Russia’s attack on Ukraine, and months of continuing Russian state-sponsored cyberattacks on Ukrainian government and critical infrastructure organizations, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued a “Shields Up” warning to American critical infrastructure organizations and businesses, stating that “[e]very organization—large and small—must be prepared to respond to disruptive cyber activity.”  While the guidance states that there are no specific, credible cyber threats directed at the United States, it notes that Russian threat actors have been orchestrating denial of service and destructive malware attacks affecting Ukraine and its neighboring countries, and that such activities may spread to the United States and its NATO allies in what is a rapidly evolving scenario. (more…)

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FFIEC Guidance on Authentication and Access to Financial Institution Services and Systems

On August 11, 2021, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC)1 issued guidance establishing risk management principles and practices to support the authentication of users accessing a financial institution’s information systems and customers accessing a financial institution’s digital banking services (the Guidance). The Guidance is not intended to serve as a comprehensive framework but rather provides financial institutions with examples of effective risk management practices without endorsing any specific information security framework or standard.

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