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FERC Order Provides a Time Extension on CIP V5 Standard Implementation

Muddassir Katchi March 30, 2016 0

cip standards overview

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) announced that it would grant an extension on the implementation of the critical infrastructure protection (CIP) version 5 Reliability Standards. The organization gathered key information about the pending implementation and decided to grant the motion for the time extension.

The Background on the Motion

On February 4, a group of professional associations filed a motion with FERC. The motion requested that the impending deadline for implementation of the standard be moved from April 1, 2016 to July 1, 2016.

The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) received approval for the CIP version 5 Standards by FERC. The organization did require some changes to the proposed terms including clarification of language within the order as well as the need to develop enhanced security controls for low impact assets as well as to develop controls that would protect transient electronic devices.

The organization also had to better define what the term communication network meant and how it applied. Additionally, the organization was to modify or develop new Reliability Standards that would work to protect the non-programmable components within these networks. At that time, the organization also received approval for its implementation plan which stated compliance would be in place by April 1, 2016.

The Need for a Time Extension

The group filed the request for the time extension in order to defer the implementation of the protocol for those organizations with High and Medium Impact BES Cyber Systems specifically. This would allow the timeline to align with the effective date for the revised standards.

The underlying concern that the Trade Associations had was that having the two related implementation dates within just a few months of each other would strain and complicate the transition to the new versions. This would, according to the extension request, create administrative burdens with no real improvement to security or to the bulk power system reliability. Specifically, trying to develop and maintain two separate systems would create severe problems for the overall system.

NERC agreed that the short success of implementation dates would create unnecessary burdens without any real benefit. This encouraged the organization to align the dates. Therefore, NERC granted the Trade Association’s motion to defer the NERC CIP V5 standards for High and Medium Impact BES Cyber Systems to July 1. The move will help to strengthen the Trade Association’s ability to meet compliance requirements of the new NERC CIP v5 requirements.

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