Protecting the nation’s energy infrastructure from all hazards, including the cyber threat, is fundamental to the mission of the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability. Every day, we work closely with industry, our national laboratories, academia, and federal and state partners to reduce the risk of energy disruptions due to a cyber incident and, if one does occur, mitigate its effects without loss of critical functions.

Maintaining a robust pipeline of innovative technologies and techniques is crucial. Last week’s release of a new Cybersecurity for Energy Delivery Systems research call for the research, development and demonstration of new technologies and techniques that will advance the state-of-the-art is another important step in our efforts to further strengthen resilience of the nation’s energy infrastructure. This research call focuses on eight cybersecurity-related areas, including cybersecurity for renewable and distributed energy resources, forecast data that can affect energy operations, and the use of “the cloud” in energy delivery. It is open only to Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs) such as DOE-sponsored national laboratories.  Responses are due by May 15, 2015.

When I talk with people about what my Office does, one of the things I always talk about is the vital importance of our partnerships with our private and public partners. With this lab call, we are emphasizing the critical importance of the partnerships DOE maintains with industry and its national laboratories, as embodied in DOE's Grid Modernization Laboratory consortium.

This year has already seen several strong steps in improving cybersecurity of the power grid. Earlier this month, we announced up to $27 million in funding for academic collaborations that will develop and transition advanced cybersecurity technologies to the energy sector. In January, we released guidance to help the energy sector establish or align existing cybersecurity risk management programs to meet the objectives of the Cybersecurity Framework released by the National Institutes of Standards and Technology. And our national laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee announced licensing of its Hyperion software, which helps detect software that has been maliciously altered, to a company that expects to make it available to the energy sector later this month. As the energy landscape continues to evolve, we will continue working with our private and public partners to further strengthen and refine protection of our critical energy infrastructure. 

To learn more about the Department’s strategic approach to protecting the nation’s electric grid from the cyber threat, please visit the cyber section of the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability’s website.

Patricia A. Hoffman
Acting Assistant Secretary, Office of Electricity
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