My gut reaction when I saw the headlines about the massive power failures in India over the last two days was ‘cyber attack’. Probably by China. However, it is being blamed on excessive energy demands that over-powered their grid, showing weakness in the critical infrastructure of a country with a large and growing role in the world economy. My suspicions are still lingering (I lived through the Enron days), but regardless of sabotage or overload, the bottom line is the same – large parts of the country were crippled by the sudden and unexpected loss of power. It is a taste of what could happen here if the little ‘bots’ slipped into our power grid by hackers (or foreign governments) are ever activated. It is beyond time that we as a country get serious about this problem and come up with a cohesive action plan to address protecting our power sources. Smart grids are needed for essential environmental improvements, and are being deployed (slowly) around the country. More digital touch points mean more vulnerability. That’s not a reason not to do it — but we need to be strategic about this. And that probably requires some real cash investment. Can’t skimp our way out of this.
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