US DoE awards funding for development of cybersecurity “fabric”


The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded Xage Security with a grant to support the further enhancement and demonstration of the applicability of its blockchain-protected security “fabric” for infrastructure protection. 

This federally funded project will show how blockchain can be used to secure applications, as well as legacy and future devices deployed within utility networks, to protect the nation’s power grid.

Xage has been granted five patents to-date for its innovative cybersecurity architecture (additional patents pending) layering blockchain and consensus-based technologies including Shamir’s Secret Sharing to distribute authentication and private data across a network of devices along what it terms it’s “fabric” of secure communications and security. 

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Xage’s proposal to establish secure identity and access control of the grid’s assets was selected by the National Office of Electricity and featured as the chosen grant example for the Electricity industry in the DOE’s recent Research and Development Grants announcement. The demonstrations of the scalability and applicability of Xage’s Security Fabric for the DOE are beginning immediately.

“Greater opportunities to enhance science and technology research and development strengthen the economic security for our entire country,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. Funded through the DOE’s SBIR innovation program, Xage’s project will further demonstrate the benefits of applying blockchain within a decentralized security model and help realize the implications for innovation within the U.S. electrical grid and infrastructure.

In recent years, many existing devices in utility networks have been connected with newer technologies in the field––introducing both benefits and security risks, as modern “Internet of Things” techniques are mixed with legacy systems that often lack access control security, such as passwords and managed identities. While the opening up grid platforms facilitates the adoption of clean energy and can enhance resiliency and reliability, it also increases cyber risks for both individual devices and larger networks.

A similar version of this article originally appeared on our sister-site, Electric Light & Power.