The attached article links to some great information on random animals and objects that have took down parts of the US power grid. It essentially explains how packs of squirrels are a far more greater threat than hacking attempts.
This means one of two things. One the security system on Americas power grid works exceptionally well or people hacking the grid isn't as big of a threat as officials believe.
Either way. The deceitful squirrels show that you can't plan for everything but there are a few things that you can do. Here's a couple;
- Encrypt passwords or any delicate information when you store it in a database. Also make sure passwords are never decrypted when authenticating. Just encrypt the supplied text and check it against the encrypted text you have.
- Make sure authentication is session based. A user will be logged out after being inactive for awhile.
- Backup data, but do it securely and preferably in a different physical location to the original source.
- Use a software architecture that has natural security benefits.
- Use frameworks you know have been tried and tested over building your own. The framework's community will have spotted vulnerabilities you never will.
The website lists 623 power disruptions caused by squirrels, 214 by birds, 53 by raccoons, one by a Hannah Montana balloon, and a handful of other incidents caused by everything from snakes to slugs.