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Cyber threats to the power grid and oil and natural gas systems in North America are rapidly intensifying. System operators in Mexico, Canada, and the United States are bolstering their resilience against these threats and deepening collaboration with their respective governments. At the same time, energy infrastructure is increasingly integrated across the content. This paper argues that the nations of North America should not only improve infrastructure security within their own borders, but also launch new collaborative efforts to bolster their shared resilience against cyberattacks.

Given the increasingly severe threats to electric and natural gas systems and the need for cross-border coordination, this paper first analyzes improvements in adversary cyberattack capabilities that pose especially significant risks to energy infrastructure. The paper then examines opportunities to deepen collaboration between Canada, Mexico, and the United States against these threats. In particular, the paper analyzes initiatives that can help strengthen plans and capabilities for cross-border coordination in ways that respect each nation’s sovereignty and that supplement the significant resilience initiatives already underway across the continent.

This paper forms part of the book project “North America 2.0”. The volume will be released in 2021 and will feature some of the leading analysts and practitioners in the United States, Mexico, and Canada, setting out a bold vision for North American security, prosperity, and governance. Some of the topics to be covered in the book are:  trade, investment, border management, energy, migration, security, external relations and governance. The project seeks to develop ideas and proposals to help situate the North American community as a global center for competitiveness, opportunity, and good governance.

About the Author

Paul Stockton

Paul Stockton

Managing Director, Sonecon LLC; Former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense
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