The Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) $3.6 million to research and develop virtual, cloud-based cybersecurity management tools for small, resource-constrained utilities. NRECA and Honeywell Corp. will provide matching funds for a total of $4.7 million.
NRECA will collaborate with Pacific Northwest National Laboratories, Carnegie Mellon University, Honeywell Corp. and Cigital Inc. to create and demonstrate an automated network configuration and management device that will enable small utilities to monitor, analyze, and securely manage their systems.
Goals of the project, “Energy Sector Security through a System for Intelligent, Learning Network Configuration Management and Monitoring,” include:
- Improved implementation of cybersecurity policies.
- Improved detection and prevention of malicious code.
- Greater adaptability of security systems to changing threats.
The grant was one of 11 announced by the DOE on Sept. 19 that total roughly $30 million. The other 10 awards go to:
- ABB Inc. – Cary, N.C.
- Electric Power Research Institute Inc. (EPRI) – Palo Alto, Calif.
- Foxguard Solutions Inc. – Christiansburg, Va.
- Georgia Tech Applied Research Corp. – Atlanta, Ga.
- Grid Protection Alliance – Chattanooga, Tenn.
- Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories Inc. – Pullman, Wa. (three grants)
- TT Government Solutions Inc. – Red Bank, N.J.
- Viasat Inc. – Carlsbad, Calif.
Sources: POWER, DOE, NRECA
—Gail Reitenbach, PhD, Editor (@POWERmagazine, @GailReit)