Continued R&D into next-gen cybersecurity tools for energy critical infrastructure


The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Idaho National Laboratory (INL) will continue to collaborate with New Context, a systems integrator that automates the orchestration, governance, and protection of critical infrastructure it was announced.

The ongoing collaboration will further research and development in next-generation cybersecurity technologies and tools to strengthen protection of US energy critical infrastructure, including the electric grid, from cyber threats.

To meet the needs and demands of the digitisation and modernisation of the US electrical grid, INL will work with the system integrator on a DOE-sponsored effort to further the advancement of technologies to protect the grid through building automated response platforms.

More specifically, New Context and INL are collaborating on research for machine-to-machine advanced threat detection and automated orchestration for industrial control system (ICS) networks.

The project is funded by the Cybersecurity for Energy Delivery Systems (CEDS) Programme in the DOE’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE).

“INL is at the forefront of US and international control systems cybersecurity and grid resilience research,” stated Andy Bochman, senior cyber and energy security strategist, Idaho National Labs.

“INL is one of the DOE National Laboratories, which are strategic partners for DOE in fostering collaborative research that engages energy sector stakeholders – suppliers, utilities, asset owners and operators, universities, and providers of cybersecurity services to the energy sector to research, design, and test new tools and technologies that will advance critical energy infrastructure to adapt and survive a cyber attack as the smart grid evolves. One of the collaborative efforts is machine-to-machine automated threat response and supports establishment of tools to harden our nation’s infrastructure against cyberattacks.”

[quote]The developments produced through these ongoing projects will help to enhance the reliability and resilience of the nation’s energy critical infrastructure through innovative, scalable, and cost-effective research and development of cybersecurity solutions and operational capabilities.

The technologies to be developed are expected to have broad applicability to the U.S. energy delivery sector by meeting their needs in a cost-effective manner with a clear path for adoption by asset owners and operators.

“As the cyber threat battlefield continues to evolve, we need to look at new ways of protecting our nation’s critical utility networks,” stated Daniel Riedel, CEO, New Context.

“We need to get in front of the attackers by developing visionary tools that will prepare our energy infrastructure for anomalous behaviours and enable response before potential instability in the network. We need to get left of boom.”