We’d be crippled by a cyberattack on our utilities

Evans is right: The potential damage from an attack on our critical infrastructure would be harrowing. It’s time we come up with a strategy to defend our nation from potentially crippling cyberattacks that would put states at the forefront of the fight.

The effect of an attack on utility distribution systems could be similar to a major natural disaster — except we know when natural disasters end. Hurricanes do not return to strike a second or third time. And they do not replicate themselves in other parts of the country.

After just two weeks following an attack, we might exhaust reserve fuel to generate utility services, leading to shortages of potable water and an inability to treat sewage. Public order would be strained, and we could expect significant out-migration of residents seeking water and electricity. The hit on commerce could be devastating.