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Global Action on Cybersecurity at Nuclear Facilities: Moving Beyond the Status Quo

Global Action on Cybersecurity at Nuclear Facilities: Moving Beyond the Status Quo

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Cyber threats to nuclear facilities are becoming more
sophisticated each day, and the technical capacity to address the threat
remains limited. This threat is global and undermines the security of nuclear
materials and facility operations. 

Traditional nuclear security practices focus
primarily on preventing physical attacks—putting in place “guns, guards, and
gates” to prevent theft of materials to build a bomb or sabotage of a nuclear facility—with
the assumption that nuclear facilities are air-gapped and safe from traditional
cyber attacks. While physical security is of vital importance, the threat of a
cyber attack is escalating as is the technical means and capabilities of
malicious actors. 

All countries are vulnerable, and nuclear cybersecurity
practices have not kept pace with the threat. The 2016 NTI Nuclear Security
Index found that many countries are ill-prepared to protect nuclear facilities
against cyber attacks that could facilitate the theft of weapons-usable nuclear
materials or even cause a significant radiological release like the accident at
Fukushima. Much more needs to be done by governments and the private sector to
effectively secure and prevent the theft of nuclear materials or sabotage of
nuclear facilities. 

The paper discusses the 2016 NTI Nuclear Security Index
findings, identifies where gaps remain, and provides recommendations for
further global action. This paper also highlights actions taken at the 2016
Nuclear Security Summit and the 2016 Nuclear Industry Summit to advance the
dialogue on securing nuclear materials and facilities from cyber attack.

Read the full paper here.

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