Efforts in place to curb electromagnetic pulse attacks on electrical grid, DHS reports

Published on September 09, 2020 by Dave Kovaleski

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The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a new report on its efforts to combat Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) attacks, which could disrupt the electrical grid and potentially damage electronics.

The report, called the Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Program Status Report, establishes resilience and security standards for U.S. critical infrastructure as a national priority. It also highlights efforts taken across the public and private sectors to foster increased resilience to EMP events. Through data analysis and other means, the department is identifying critical infrastructure and associated functions that are at greatest risk from an EMP. Further, it is developing and implementing best practices to reduce the risk.

“EMP attacks are part of the emerging threats against our nation and demand a response,” Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli said. “That is why DHS is taking these contingencies very seriously, working diligently to mitigate our risks and equipping our state and local partners with the resources they need to do the same. We’ve made significant progress and look forward to the work ahead.”

The DHS is coordinating with Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA), the Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on this initiative.

“As the Nation’s risk advisor, one of CISA’s priorities is understanding and mitigating threats associated with EMPs,” CISA Director Chris Krebs said. “Over the past year, we have worked with interagency and industry partners to identify the footprint and effects of EMP threats across our National Critical Functions, and are developing sustainable, efficient, and cost-effective approaches to improving the Nation’s resilience to EMPs.”