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The final theme of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2018 is dedicated to safeguarding our nation's critical infrastructure. As the Sector Specific Agency for cybersecurity in the energy sector, the Department of Energy (DOE) is charged with keeping our nation's energy infrastructure safe from cyber threats and attacks.

One of the ways we are doing this is by conducting exercises with our private sector partners to help strengthen energy sector cybersecurity preparedness.

On October 11th, DOE's newly-formed Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER) conducted Liberty Eclipse 2018 Phase 1 tabletop exercise. Phase 1 focused on a national cyber incident impacting multiple electric power entities and oil and natural gas resources. Participants included representatives from federal agencies; energy trade associations; and investor-owned utilities, and municipalities.

Liberty Eclipse 2018 Phase 2—the technical exercise—will take place November 1-7 on Plum Island, New York. Conducted by DOE and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Phase 2 will test and evaluate DARPA research technologies that could enable black start recovery of the power grid during a cyber-attack. 

Exercises like Liberty Eclipse demonstrate the interdependencies within our nation’s energy infrastructure. They provide critical forums for collaboration and knowledge transfer and allow public and private sector partners to examine their respective roles and responsibilities in a controlled, secured environment.

The Administration's recently-released National Cyber Strategy calls on the federal government and the private sector to work together on routine training, exercises, and coordination to keep our critical infrastructure cyber-secure. Through Liberty Eclipse and other efforts, DOE is answering that call—working together with our partners to address the emerging threats of tomorrow and help ensure the reliable flow of energy to all Americans today.

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Brian Marko
Brian Marko is the Program Manager for Energy Sector Exercises at the Infrastructure Security & Energy Restoration division, Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response.
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