CIP Standards and the Cybersecurity Framework
The latest versions of CIP standards now include a variety of systems. These standards are designed to protect critical information and assets, and they also include requirements for physical security. The latest standards require utilities to categorize all of their bulk assets to meet specific levels of risk. Here are a few details. Listed below are some of the most important elements of these standards. To ensure a high-quality security program, CIP-006-6 includes some important elements. Source
The CIP standards are designed to help utilities develop a custom risk management process, including mandatory audits and CIP controls. Early versions of the standards lacked detail on cybersecurity basics, including pen testing, encryption, and software security. However, later versions of the standards addressed these issues more fully. In fact, the latest CIP standards, approved by the FERC in January 2013, significantly revise the scope of CIP standards and the level of protection for the assets they protect.
CIP-003-6 describes the implementation of sustainable security management controls to protect critical cyber assets. It includes cybersecurity policy, leadership, exceptions, and information protection. It also includes access control, change control, and configuration management. Adherence to these sub-requirements may vary from organization to organization and based on the criticality of the assets. If you’re concerned about the cost and effort of implementing these standards, consider using NERC CIP instead.
NERC CIP establishes the creation of electronic security perimeters around all cyber assets. The Electronic Security Perimeter encircles all cyber assets linked to a single router or routable protocol, thereby creating a virtual barrier. Cyber assets that are external must enter the network through an Electronic Access Point. This provides the necessary protection for critical public infrastructures and protects human life. This NERC standard ensures the security of the Bulk Electric System and the lives of people.
NERC CIP is the North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s initiative to protect critical infrastructure from cyber threats. The goal of these standards is to increase reliability and efficiency of the Bulk Electric System. To ensure compliance with the standards, it is necessary for system owners, operators, and users to register with the relevant regional entity. These standards also help identify cybersecurity threats and help companies protect their critical infrastructure from cyber-attacks. A key element of these standards is the implementation of cyber-asset security controls.
Enacting response plans is an integral part of NERC CIP compliance. Other key NERC CIP requirements include training employees and controlling access to critical assets. Version 5 of the CIP standards was approved in 2013 and began implementation in 2014. While this process is ongoing, it is imperative for companies to comply with these CIP standards. If you are not yet compliant, consider consulting with a cybersecurity company that lives and breathes cybersecurity.