$30m for development of cybersecurity tools in U.S.


Ernest Moniz,
U.S. Energy Secretary
Washington, DC, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — September 26, 2013 – Approximately $30 million has been awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy for the development of new tools and technologies to strengthen protection of the electric grid and other energy infrastructure from cyber attack.

The eleven projects, which will combine advanced expertise in power system engineering and cybersecurity, will include testing of the new products to demonstrate their effectiveness and interoperability.

The 11 projects are as follows:

  • ABB, Inc. – to develop a system that allows substation devices to work together to validate the integrity of communications, such as commands to change a protective relay’s configuration, and assess the potential impact on grid operations.
  • Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. (EPRI) – to develop a framework that allows utilities to centrally manage the remote configuration of their energy delivery system devices more securely.
  • Foxguard Solutions, Inc. – to develop a service that allows utilities to simplify the process of keeping up-to-date with the most current firmware and software patches and updates.
  • Georgia Tech Applied Research Corporation – to develop a technology that evaluates energy delivery system control commands to anticipate their impact on power grid operations and, if needed, implement cybersecurity responses to prevent disruptions.
  • Grid Protection Alliance – to develop an architecture that enables more secure substation communications for data generated by legacy or modern energy delivery devices.
  • National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) – to develop a network that allows utilities and small electric cooperatives with limited resources to centrally manage their networks more securely.
  • Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc. – to develop an integrated cyber-physical access control system that simplifies the process of managing access to energy delivery facilities.
  • Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc. – to develop a radio platform for more secure “last mile” wireless communications used with remote energy delivery infrastructure such as distribution substations.
  • Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc. – to develop software that allows utilities to centrally manage their local area networks more securely, providing real time awareness of cyber activity and rerouting network traffic in response to cyber intrusions.
  • TT Government Solutions, Inc. – to develop a technology that analyzes and visualizes smart meter wireless communications to quickly detect unusual behavior that could suggest a cyber attack.  

Viasat, Inc. – to develop an architecture that gives utilities awareness of the status of their energy delivery systems’ cybersecurity, and allows them to automatically respond to cyber intrusions as predetermined in the utility’s cybersecurity policy.

“Keeping the nation’s energy flowing is vital to the safety and well-being of Americans, our economic prosperity, and modern society as a whole,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “To meet the challenges of today’s evolving cyber landscape, we must continue investing in innovative, state-of-the-art technologies.”

With these awards, since 2010, the DOE has invested more than $100 million in cybersecurity research and development to industry, universities and national laboratories.