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U.S. Energy Department to Spend $20 Million on Energy Sector Cybersecurity

Posted on the 22 February 2013 by Dailyfusion @dailyfusion
Sign for the United States Department of Energy building in Washington DC (Credit: Jsquish

Sign for the United States Department of Energy building in Washington DC (Credit: Jsquish

Energy Secretary Steven Chu have announced that up to $20 million will be available for the research and development of cybersecurity defenses—control systems for the energy grid, oil and gas delivery infrastructure. Recipients would be required to test their technologies in cooperation with energy industry to ensure the effectiveness of the design.

“As the President clearly stated in his State of the Union address, it is critically important for us to protect our nation’s infrastructure from cyber threats,” said Secretary Chu. “By developing new cybersecurity tools and technologies specifically designed for the needs of the energy sector, utilities and industry will be better equipped to protect against and respond to cyber threats.”

The newly announced cost-shared investments are intended to address the following cybersecurity needs of the energy sector, among others:

  • Protection of energy delivery control system software and firmware updates;
  • Sustainability of critical energy delivery functions and remote access to field devices while responding to a cyber-intrusion; and
  • Detection of compromises within the supply chain and manipulation of power grid components.

The full funding opportunity announcement is available here.

DOE has a unique role in protecting and enhancing the cybersecurity of our Nation’s infrastructure.  As the designated energy sector specific agency for the federal government, DOE has the responsibility to promote a resilient energy infrastructure in which continuity of business and services are maintained. To accomplish this critical role the DOE works with private industry, energy sector stakeholders, and the intelligence community, as well as the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense.

Today’s funding announcement is a component of the Department’s overall grid cybersecurity strategy, which is detailed in the “2011 Roadmap to Achieve Energy Delivery Systems Cybersecurity.” The Roadmap provides a strategic framework to align activities to sector needs, coordinate public and private programs, and stimulate investments in energy sector cybersecurity. In support of the recently released Executive Order on Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity, DOE will be actively engaged leveraging the experiences and resources from many of the efforts identified in the Roadmap.

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