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You think you’ve got security concerns. Be thankful you’re not a utility. They’re dealing with antiquated equipment that’s often not going to be updated any time soon.

To better understand the stresses and troubles the utility industry is facing, I chatted with Sean Sherman of ASRC Primus, a contractor that’s working with the US Department of Energy regarding smart grid cyber security. Sherman wrote a piece for the US Department of Energy about the need for utilities to embrace risk management as a core function of the way they do business.

Risk management is not new to the utility industry. They have a long history of doing risk management, said Sherman, but that’s been only with regards of the utility itself. They’re really good at keeping the lights on.

What they don’t have a good risk management understanding of is all the new electronically managed controls and relays that are being put on top of these systems, said Sherman. And they need to start taking risk management seriously as there is a real concern of hackers getting into control systems.

Stock photos of utility towers courtesy of Shutterstock.