What Are NERC CIP Standards?

Dec 30, 2020 8:15:00 AM / by Michael Witt

The National Electric Reliability Council (NERC) is a watchdog organization created to keep the public safe. Because the electrical system of a power plant can easily affect a much larger grid, NERC is there to ensure that everyday citizens can keep the lights on. Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) is just a part of what they do, but it's one of the most important components because it establishes the baseline of what safety should look like. The standards for NERC are based on what is rather than how it is. Said a different way, the council is less interested in the process as they are the results. If critical infrastructure is damaged or otherwise compromised, it's likely a sign that protocol isn't being followed. So if you're asking 'what is NERC', We'll look at how everything works and what it means for property owners. 

What Does the NERC CIP Compliance Program Do?

What is NERC CIP? The CIP program oversees all of NERC's efforts to strengthen power system security in America. This might mean enforcing compliance, assessing risk, raising awareness, or distributing critical information. These standards apply to any entity that has an impact on the bulk power system. In other words, if an organization's power outage is likely to affect their neighbors, then they have to comply with NERC. This mandate extends to not just owners, but also operators and users. The CIP program requires all incidents to be reported and for organizations to have clear response plans in place for a variety of events. It can help property owners perfect their guidelines and ensure that responsibilities are correctly divided between staff members

What Is the NERC CIP Compliance Checklist?

Compliance can often seem unmanageable or too demanding at first glance, but often, it's just about putting in the effort. The first step is to categorize your assets, defining which ones are critical. This step helps you prioritize different elements of your property so you're boosting security where you need it most. The next step is to ensure that your staff is properly trained, and this means managers and operators alike. Everyone should understand the maintenance and security of the organization. You should also be reviewing (and potentially adjusting) all of your practices every quarter. Finally, owners should ensure that perimeters are established and monitored. This might mean having people sign in or out or configuring firewalls to protect your virtual systems. 

Contact Kontek Industries 

Kontek Industries understands what it means to enforce NERC standards. A NER CIP certification can help you avoid costly fines or inconvenient sanctions, but more than that, it can ensure that your entity doesn't affect those around you. While some disasters can't be stopped, there are plenty that can be prevented with just a little forethought. Owners are under a lot of pressure these days. They need to keep careful track of all data, whether it's physical or virtual. They may need to figure out how to coordinate environmental changes or relocations. Whether you're wrestling with a specific order, such as NER CIP 013, or you just want to let someone else take the wheel, contact Kontek Industries to learn more about how we can help



NERC CIP Standards



Topics: Critical Infrastructure, Counter Terrorism

Michael Witt

Published by Michael Witt

Michael Witt is the Director of Sales & Marketing at Kontek Industries. Michael is responsible for coordinating and executing sales strategies and marketing campaigns for the company. Prior to joining Kontek Industries, Michael was the Vice President of Sales of a U.S.-based physical security and surveillance company, where he managed a sales team supporting global security companies, the US Department of Defense, the US Department of Energy, law enforcement agencies, and various defense groups across the world. Michael Witt served in the United States Marine Corps from 2006 – 2010 and conducted combat operations in Afghanistan on multiple deployments. Michael has earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Gardner Webb University.