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DOE to support development of 'next-generation cyber tools' to protect grid – Cybersecurity Dive

The agency announced $45 million will be available for up to 15 “next-generation” cybersecurity research, development and demonstration projects.
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The electric grid is becoming more automated as clean energy technologies are deployed, DOE said, making cybersecurity a priority.
“Researchers will aim to develop tools and technologies that enable energy systems to autonomously recognize a cyberattack, attempt to prevent it, and automatically isolate and eradicate it with no disruption to energy delivery,” the agency said.
The funding announcement lays out six proposed areas for research, including automated prevention and mitigation solutions that would “enable energy systems to autonomously recognize and prevent cyberattacks from disrupting energy.”
Other topics of study include:
“As DOE builds out America’s clean energy infrastructure, this funding will provide the tools for a strong, resilient, and secure electricity grid that can withstand modern cyberthreats and deliver energy to every pocket of America,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said in a statement.
Concept papers are due Sept. 12 and full applications must be submitted by Dec. 5, according to the funding announcement. DOE hopes to make final awards in June.
NERC’s State of Reliability report last month noted that “going forward, industry must continue to integrate cyber and physical security considerations with conventional power system planning, operations, design, and restoration practices.”
Cyberattacks “routinely” targeted the digital supply chain in 2021, but so far the industry’s security has held up, the report said.
“We’re doing a good job at our hygiene and setting certain standards for good cyber performance,” NERC’s Director of Reliability Assessment and Performance Analysis John Moura said. The cybersecurity landscape “relentlessly evolves, and presents continuing challenges to the electric industry.”
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The latest incident at Marriott is relatively minor compared to major breaches in late 2018 and early 2020, but it signals a pattern of neglect.
Guidelines call for developers to attest they use secure software practices.
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