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Physical Security

The U.S. electric grid is aging and in need of billions of dollars of investment, having earned a D+ rating from the American Society of Civil Engineers. Despite significant advances in protective and self-healing technologies, the grid remains vulnerable to physical attack and natural disasters.

The list of resources below is intended to serve as a repository of best practices, standards, white papers, and case studies that include information about how to make the electric grid more secure and resilient to natural and manmade disasters.

Reliability and Security Standards

  • North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) Physical Security Standard CIP-014 was developed in response to an order by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to set reliability standards to mitigate physical security risks and vulnerabilities of the bulk power system.
  • UL Standard for Bullet-Resisting Equipment (UL 752)

Case Studies




White Papers and Reports

The list below contains some typical methods used for physically hardening the electric grid

Electrical Substations

  • Redundant designs
  • Spare equipment: offsite storage
  • Card key-controlled access
  • Tamper detection
  • Thermal and high-definition cameras

Electrical Equipment

  • Switchgear: rugged enclosures
  • Electrical Meters: guard rings

Department of Defense (DoD) documents (coming soon)


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