Cybersecurity
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New University-Based Cybersecurity Centers Advance Resilience Efforts

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER) has announced funding awards to two congressionally directed university-based projects that bolster efforts to strengthen the cybersecurity of the nation’s critical energy infrastructure. These projects and partnerships will help integrate cybersecurity and resilience into the broader energy sector.

  • The University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) received $1 million to support an Emerging Threat Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ET-ISAC). The center will advance cross-sector cybersecurity threat sharing practices and train a new workforce to defend against cyber adversaries. The ET-ISAC will convene the Cybersecurity Consortium for Innovation, a diverse group of university partners, cybersecurity experts, electric utility officials, and other energy sector stakeholders, to share information about potential cyber attacks to improving situational awareness and response efforts.
  • Automation Alley received $2 million to create a Cybersecurity Center at Oakland University in Rochester, MI aimed at reducing the impacts of disruptive cybersecurity attacks and enhancing the security of critical energy infrastructure. The Cybersecurity Center will research avenues to predict, detect, and repair cyberattacks; train workforce; and partner with government and industry entities to support threat sharing. The Cybersecurity Center will collaborate with other DOE-funded centers and industry partners, including Automation Alley, Fraunhofer USA, SensCy, and GRIMM Cyber, to advance cyber education and resources.

Universities are instrumental in CESER’s mission to build a secure energy infrastructure nationwide. Not only are universities ideal sites for developing a strong workforce to meet the cybersecurity challenges ahead, but they also provide ample opportunities to research innovative tools, technologies, and methods for discovering and mitigating cyberattacks. CESER is proud to partner with UALR and Automation Alley and other universities to bolster workforce development and cyber risk management efforts.

Further funding is underway to establish a network of university-based, regional electric power cybersecurity centers. These centers will address interrelated research and development challenges of cybersecurity and critical energy infrastructure, while considering the distinctive characteristics of each region's electricity system, network of infrastructure, and workforce expertise. It is envisioned that this initiative will result in multiple new tools and training for the energy sector through partnerships between universities, energy sector owners and operators, regulatory bodies, and DOE National Laboratories. For more information about DOE’s efforts to secure the nation’s energy sector, visit www.energy.gov/ceser.

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