FERC orders extension of NERC cybersecurity standards

Electric cooperative utilities facing various levels of national cybersecurity now have an extra six months to meet new standards, under a deadline extension granted by federal regulators. The original deadline for compliance was April 1, 2014.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has a new compliance date of Oct. 1, 2014, for North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC) Critical Infrastructure Protection Version 4.

NRECA asked the commission earlier this summer to approve Version 5 of these standards and allow co-ops to avoid having to quickly first meet Version 4.

Attaining various versions of the standards requires significant planning, budgeting and resources.

With other trade associations, NRECA filed a motion on July 18, requesting that the commission delay the compliance deadline for Version 4.

FERC in its Aug. 12 order said a six-month extension was warranted to allow those that must comply “to more efficiently utilize resources to transition” from Version 3 to Version 5 if the commission ultimately agrees to override Version 4.

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