The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on June 15 released its National Cyber-Informed Engineering (CIE) Strategy that focuses on providing a framework for engineering, training, tools, and practices against cyber threats to the energy sector and the electricity grid.

The new strategy incorporates five different pillars:

  • Awareness that promulgates a universal and shared understanding of (CIE);
  • Education that embeds CIE into formal education, training, and credentialing;
  • Developments that build the body of knowledge by which CIE is applied to specific implementations;
  • Looking at current infrastructure and applying (CIE) principles to existing systemically important critical infrastructure; and
  • Conducting R&D and develop an industrial base to build (CIE) into new infrastructure systems and emerging technology.

“This framework advocates for an evolutionary shift across the energy industry and related institutions, including researchers, standards bodies, Federal partners, and others,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy (DOE) Jennifer Granholm. “Following the CIE strategy will help ensure that our grid is not only resistant to initial attacks, but resilient enough to prevent and mitigate disruptions to our energy supplies, economy, and everyday lives.”

An important aspect of the strategy is the need to shift towards more clean energy. The strategy focuses on creating a clean energy campaign directed toward industry practitioners when they develop new technology infrastructure.

“This will take a concerted, collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure energy systems of the future are built securely to provide reliable energy to the nation,” said Puesh Kumar, Director of DOE’s Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER). “Building energy systems securely by design means ensuring all phases of the energy system life cycle – from design and development to installation and operation – are secure and can quickly recover from cyberattacks.”

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Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.