Protecting The Power Grid: Why Utilities Should Rethink Security

A single physical security incident at utility sites, like power facilities and water treatment plants, can have a massive impact. That’s exactly what happened in 2018 where two men attempted to steal copper from a Trafford, Pennsylvania substation, knocked out power to local businesses.

Not only was the organization in charge of the substation left with a bill to repair the damage, but also the surrounding community had to pay the price for the would-be thieves’ actions.

Even worse is the threat of intentional attacks. Attacking the power grid is not a new tactic: the U.S. is suffering from a decade-high surge in these attacks, according to Politico. 

And according to the Wall Street Journal, attacks on the US power grid increased by 71% in 2022 compared to 2021, and the number is expected to rise further in 2023. It’s a nationwide problem and thousands of people feel the ripple effects.

Over 40,000 customers were left in the dark after substations were vandalized and damaged by gunfire in Moore County, North Carolina in 2022. And at least 15,000 people in Washington state faced the same fate after four power substations were sabotaged on Christmas Day.

Video Surveillance Substation Security Checklist

These outages can lead to lost heat, spoiled medicines, and food rotting. They can also cost millions of dollars to repair. Both communities and businesses can be affected by this criminal activity, whether it’s done for personal profit or to intentionally cause harm.

Regardless of the reasoning, one thing is certain: cascading effects ensue. Electrical substations, the overall power grid, and other utilities cannot be left vulnerable to criminal activity.

As our recent “State of Physical Security” report reveals, 28% of businesses experienced an increase in crime in 2022 and 91% believe that will increase or stay the same in 2023. That’s why it’s critical to act now. Implement a security strategy to stop these damaging actions before they ever take place.

Every Second Matters

When time is of the essence, there’s no room for delays. Every second energy and utility properties are exposed to threats, thousands of residents and businesses are exposed to potentially disastrous consequences.

That is why remote video monitoring (RVM) is the best solution available to protect such critical infrastructure. RVM uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning video analysis to detect threats, deter attacks, and dispatch authorities at unmatched speed.

An RVM system can detect unusual activity within 18 seconds and alert a human monitor for further review of potentially suspicious behavior.

Don’t let thieves interrupt services and cause chaos that results in costly repairs. With proper monitoring in place, you won’t have to spend money replacing stolen materials or repairing damaged property. Pro-Vigil’s team of virtual guards is here to surveil and protect properties around the clock, so you don’t have to. Contact us today so threats to infrastructure never become a reality.

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