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DOE Secretary Says Cybersecurity a Top R&D Priority

Jennifer Granholm


Department of Energy

DOE Secretary Says Cybersecurity a Top R&D Priority

The Department of Energy considers cybersecurity a top research and development priority, Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said during a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing. 

Granholm responded to lawmakers’ concerns that the department did not put enough focus on cybersecurity in its fiscal year 2022 budget, FCW reported

Rep. Mike Simpson, the subcommittee’s ranking member, cited threats such as the Russia-linked SolarWinds hacking campaign and the uptick in ransomware attacks. According to the industry-led Ransomware Task Force, the average ransomware payment nearly quintupled year-on-year in the third quarter of 2020.

Granholm said DOE is already working with industry and will ensure that cybersecurity professionals have the technologies and intelligence they need to protect the U.S. energy sector.  

She also announced plans to refocus the resources of the DOE Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security and Emergency Response toward providing threat intelligence and response capabilities to grid operators. 

The CESER office is tasked with shoring up U.S. energy infrastructure and supporting DOE’s national security mission by keeping up with evolving cybersecurity threats.

In her written testimony, Granholm pointed out that President Joe Biden launched a 100-day initiative to advance technologies and systems that can improve cybersecurity in the energy sector

The White House effort aims to protect the energy sector supply chain and electric utilities’ industrial control systems, which consist of integrated hardware and software that control machines and devices in industrial environments. 

As part of the initiative, DOE’s Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security and Emergency is working with electric utilities to advance solutions for cyber visibility, detection and response capabilities. 

Category: Cybersecurity