Protecting the Nation’s Electric Grid from Cyber Threats

Protecting the electric system from cyber threats and ensuring its resilience are vital to our national security and economic well-being. This is exactly why cybersecurity is one of four key themes in the White House’s Policy Framework for a 21st Century Grid. For obvious reasons, the private sector shares our interest in a safe and secure electric grid. The Administration has benefited from working closely with industry, including to develop the Roadmap to Achieve Energy Delivery Systems Cybersecurity, released by the Department of Energy last September.

To continue that close cooperation, last week Deputy Secretary of Energy Dan Poneman and I, along with senior officials from Department of Homeland Security, hosted industry leaders to discuss a new initiative to further protect the electric grid from cyber risks. This initiative — the Electric Sector Cybersecurity Risk Maturity Model Pilot — is a new White House initiative led by the Department of Energy, in collaboration with the Department of Homeland Security, to develop a model to help us identify how secure the electric grid is from cyber threats and test that model with participating utilities. Gaining knowledge about strengths and remaining gaps across the grid will better inform investment planning and research and development, and enhance our public-private partnership efforts.

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