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Open Access Senior Thesis

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Bachelor of Arts


International Relations

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© 2024 Jocelyn Livier


The energy sector is the most targeted industry, with 39% of all cyber-attacks; that's more than three times the frequency of attacks on other industries. [1] Cyberattacks on energy infrastructure have become a stark reality. This paper looks closely at the cyber security policy of the U.S., China, and France (top producing nations) and determines if 1). A response to cyberattacks is in place; 2). A response to cyberattacks on critical infrastructure is in place; 3). A direct action plan for cyberattacks on nuclear power plants is in place, and 4). Whether or not cyber simulations and training exercises are held. While the U.S. boasts the most robust framework, there is still room for improvement for China and France. Most notable is the need for a center to oversee civilian nuclear power and its protection against digital threats. In the successful case of the United States, the joint organization comprises private-sector nuclear energy firms and public-sector entities such as the Department of Energy. France must reallocate resources from its non-civilian program to its civilian one, and China must increase the visibility of security measures. The results indicate that countries need more robust cyber response plans in place in the case of a cyberattack. Nations with higher safety rankings maintain joint sector initiatives overseeing nuclear power plants as well as dedicated care to critical infrastructure and, finally, regular training simulations.

[1] Security Staff. (2023, September 19). Energy sector faces 39% of critical infrastructure attacks | Security Magazine.