Critical Infrastructure Protection: Multiple Efforts to Secure Control Systems Are Under Way, but Challenges Remain

GAO-08-119T Published: Oct 17, 2007. Publicly Released: Oct 17, 2007.
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Control systems--computer-based systems that monitor and control sensitive processes--perform vital functions in many of our nation's critical infrastructures such as electric power generation, transmission, and distribution; oil and gas refining; and water treatment and distribution. The disruption of control systems could have a significant impact on public health and safety, which makes securing them a national priority. GAO was asked to testify on portions of its report on control systems security being released today. This testimony summarizes the cyber threats, vulnerabilities, and the potential impact of attacks on control systems; identifies private sector initiatives; and assesses the adequacy of public sector initiatives to strengthen the cyber security of control systems. To address these objectives, GAO met with federal and private sector officials to identify risks, initiatives, and challenges. GAO also compared agency plans to best practices for securing critical infrastructures.

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