“Where is the money going to come from to make these investments?” is one of the key questions utilities are wrestling with. While the answer is complicated, some of the money may come from Biden’s new infrastructure stimulus plan. If it passes in Congress, the federal government will deliver a $2 trillion, eight-year, infrastructure modernization plan. Included in the plan are investments in the electric grid, food systems, urban infrastructure, community health and hospital, and transportation assets.
Cybersecurity is at the top of mind of all organizations as threats continue to escalate from nefarious players across the globe. Utilities have a huge burden to bear when it comes to securing the grid and vast amounts of infrastructure in place. As expansion and modernization of the grid evolves, so expands the number of interconnected cyber-enabled devices.
By definition, ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid (Oxford Languages). Many businesses, including utility companies, have been victimized by ransomware. In fact, 2020 saw the largest increase in global ransomware attacks to date. Specifically, Purplesec.us published the estimated cost of ransomware attacks at:
In December of 2019, to write the article, “Partnerships and Connected Technology Vital to Smart City Buildouts”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Debra Lam, Managing Director of Smart Cities and Inclusive Innovation at Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). We discussed its Georgia Smart Program (AKA: Georgia Smart) that was unveiled in 2018 with support from Georgia Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company.
If you ask people to define a smart city, you will learn that it means different things to different people and can vary from city to city and country to country. Regardless of individual definitions, one truth prevails: smart city projects are imperative to utility industry transformation, allowing utility companies to survive and thrive—all while maintaining safety—over the next ten years and beyond.