Washington, D.C., United States—How can you shield your military installations, your nuclear power plants, your hospitals, and indeed all of your critical infrastructure against cyberattacks?

Doctor Paul Stockton, a former Assistant Secretary of Defence for Homeland Defence and Security Affairs under the Obama administration, appears to have the answer. In research published by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), Doctor Stockton argues that the Department of Energy (DoE) must partner with power companies to create a defensive system that would be unbreachable by cyberattacks.

“We need better plans and capabilities to ‘play defense’ in cyberwarfare,” said Doctor Stockton.

In particular, the research, titled Resilience for Grid Security Emergencies: Opportunities for Industry-Government Collaboration, examines how the DoE and power companies could utilise the Federal Power Act to develop emergency orders and coordinate their operations before or during a cyberattack. Moreover, Dr Stockton argues that if power is lost, emergency orders could assist in its restoration, even if enemy hackers persist in their attacks.