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DOE Launches 100-Day Effort to Enhance Energy Sector Cybersecurity


DOE Launches 100-Day Effort to Enhance Energy Sector Cybersecurity

The Department of Energy has announced a 100-day initiative to advance technologies and systems that can enhance the cybersecurity of electricity operations.

Over 100 days, the Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security and Emergency Response will work with electric utilities to advance solutions for cyber visibility, detection and response capabilities, DOE said Tuesday.

“The United States faces a well-documented and increasing cyber threat from malicious actors seeking to disrupt the electricity Americans rely on to power our homes and businesses,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm.

The initiative is a coordinated effort among DOE, the energy sector and the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

Work will be focused on protecting the energy sector supply chain and electric utilities’ industrial control systems, which are integrated hardware and software designed to control machines and devices in industrial environments.

In March, lawmakers proposed a bipartisan bill that would mandate CISA’s director to help the private sector and federal government agencies monitor threats to industrial control systems.

CESER and CISA’s new initiative will set milestones for utility owners and operators to deploy new awareness and response capabilities in industrial control systems and operational technology networks.

Because such systems often support critical infrastructure, they cannot be easily shut down for security updates. Industrial control systems also often do not have enough computing resources to run anti-malware software, according to a TechTarget contributor.

DOE is also requesting information from electric utilities, energy companies, academia, research laboratories, government agencies and other stakeholders on what should be done to better secure the U.S. energy supply chain. Interested parties have until June 7 to respond.

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Tags: CESER CISA critical infrastructure cybersecurity Department of Energy DoE federal civilian industrial control system Jennifer Granholm Joe Biden request for information RFI TechTarget