Over the past decade, the frequency and sophistication of cyber-attacks have increased as our adversaries and strategic competitors have advanced their tactics from cyber-scanning to targeting the full compromise of critical energy control systems.
A major cyber-attack could cause wide-ranging national security and economic impacts, especially in the energy sector. A prolonged and extensive failure of critical infrastructures like power grids and industrial plants could disrupt the essential systems that power our homes, transportation systems, and more. As a result, energy cybersecurity and resilience are among the Nation’s most urgent security challenges.
With 80% of U.S. critical infrastructure in private ownership – including defense, oil & gas, electric power grids, healthcare, communications, transportation, and finance – protecting the private sector goes in hand with ensuring our national and economic security. In 2017 alone, cyber-attacks cost financial institutions over $18 billion.
That’s why the Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER) makes it a top priority to develop programs that help the private sector improve its cybersecurity posture and enhance security and resiliency. For instance, CESER’s OT Defender Program offers OT security managers in the energy sector an opportunity to learn how adversarial state and non-state actors target U.S. energy infrastructure. Other programs, such as the Cybersecurity Risk Information Sharing Program (CRISP) leverage DOE’s unique intelligence capabilities and advanced threat detection technologies to distribute actionable threat information to the energy sector.
“Protecting national infrastructure requires preparation and coordination across the entire country,” said CESER Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Nick Andersen. “CESER is committed to working closely with private sector partners to ensure we can respond to any threats or risks, from developing a skilled cybersecurity workforce to using the most advanced tools and technologies for our energy delivery systems,” Andersen said.
Safeguarding and promoting our critical infrastructure is vital to keeping our communities safe, secure, and prosperous. In the coming years, CESER will continue to strengthen energy sector security and resiliency and prevent any cyber threats that can disrupt or degrade U.S. energy infrastructure or operations.