US nuclear industry ‘leading in cyber security’

The US nuclear sector is leading in cyber security due to its collaborative skills. That’s according to Tony Berning, Senior Manager at software company OPSWAT, who said it makes the […]

Register now!

By Jacqueline Echevarria

The US nuclear sector is leading in cyber security due to its collaborative skills.

That’s according to Tony Berning, Senior Manager at software company OPSWAT, who said it makes the industry “healthy”.

He told ELN: “Any time there is an inspection, any time one of the plants is implementing a piece of its security plans, that information is shared with the other plant. Those practices can be spread very quickly among different facilities in the US because it is very much a collaborative effort and the whole industry knows they need to take measures to approve their cyber security and ensure that everybody is working in the same team.”

Mr Berning believes there is a lot more openness and sharing of information in the sector and it also has “the most regulatory oversight, specifically in the form of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission [NRC]”.

He said: “Because there is so much concern about the security of nuclear facilities we’re seeing that NRC as well as industry group such as NEI [Nuclear Energy Institute] are driving the different nuclear facilities to adopt very strict cyber security policies. In this case it seems to be the regulation that applies to the nuclear industry in the US that is forcing them to move to stricter security policies.”

Mr Berning added the wider energy sector can learn to share information and collaborate from the nuclear industry.

He said: “The US nuclear industry has spent a lot more time thinking about developing regulations and specifically how to handle unknown lower security and less trusted devices.”