The NERC CIP has formulated a set of measures that administer the Bulk Electric System (BES) in North America and shields all the entities who utilize it from cyber-attacks.
This high standard set of guidelines gets most of its regulations from the (NIST CSF) and its capabilities for risk management to assess the operation’s reliability with the use of cybersecurity best practices.
With the rising number of cyber security incidents affecting the energy and relevant infrastructure, these compliance standards reduce the risks of operating within the BES and shield individuals and organizations alike from the negative consequences of misusing and operating in the BES.
In this article, we’ll go over the most important elements of the NERC CIP cybersecurity requirements and the best way to tell whether you comply with these or not.
Sort and categorize your crucial BES cyber systems and assets. This can help identify dangers associated with misuse of systems, and how to manage the systems in your cyber network and how they could be affected by the operation and operation of your BES.
As per this standard, you must identify who has access to security controls and their duties. In this way, the people involved in managing the BES in your business are accountable for their actions in the event of a mishap.
This standard employs an approach based on risk to assess the education of your organization’s employees. Anyone who has access to critical cybersecurity assets has to be assessed. Also, assessment of risk for personnel, training and security awareness are ensured to safeguard the BES from any instability caused by misuse and operation.
This standard can be used to determine the scope and the efforts made to safeguard against threats by allowing remote access. Irrespective of where your company’s data is stored, it must be protected by secured access points. The most important components of this standard are updates to protect against malware, multi-factor authentication and the encryption of remote access.
The primary focus in this document is physical security in your company. To comply with the specifications of this standard, your business must prove that it has a physical security program that includes security of physical access controls, logs of physical access, a plan for the protection of computerized control system, monitoring of physical access, and access to logs for retention.
To achieve this, your entity will need to document the various security measures. It will also have to formulate, execute, and demonstrate its security methods to be more precise. This includes both non-critical and critical cybersecurity components.
Your organization needs an incident response strategy to fulfill this provision. Your response strategy and incident reporting should incorporate the details of those involved, the activities of those concerned, and how incidents are handled and reported to governing bodies.
To achieve this, your entity will need a recovery strategy, respiration and backup process, and evaluated backup media. You must also verify that your important cyber components have executed recovery methods that are in line with the disaster restoration best practices.
Your organization will need to verify that it has a system to catch unapproved changes within the BES. You will ve required to highlight configuration change management and adhere to vulnerability assessment provisions.
To achieve this, you are required to reveal your entity’s classified cyber data proving that the BES is secured from unapproved access that could compromise the system.
To make sure you are compliant with NERC CIP guidelines, it’s important to do timely mock audits and inspections. Ignoring compliance with these guidelines can lead to hefty fines and legal trouble, so please do not do that.