The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded NRECA $15 million toward deploying threat monitoring and intelligence tools to secure the electric grid against cyberattacks.
NRECA will receive $10 million in 2023 and $5 million in 2024. It will use the funding to help electric cooperatives select tools, both hardware and software, to protect their industrial control systems from cyberthreats.
Experience gained by NRECA through this DOE initiative will enhance the cybersecurity and preparedness of co-ops nationwide, said NRECA CEO Jim Matheson.
“As threats and threat actors evolve, electric cooperatives consistently work to improve their cyber defenses,” Matheson said. “Funding like this helps co-ops stay ahead of the curve. Our long-standing partnership with DOE makes the electric grid more resilient, reliable and secure.
“America’s electric cooperatives thank DOE for recognizing this important opportunity. We look forward to working together to advance the real-time cybersecurity capabilities of our members.”
NRECA and participating co-ops will work with DOE’s Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security and Emergency Response to deploy industrial control system monitoring devices to detect and defend against potential threats on utility control systems in real time and harden operational technologies in the field. Co-ops can opt to share platform data with a federal government threat intelligence platform for analysis and support as part of the initiative.
The association’s assistance to co-ops will follow DOE requirements by not promoting any specific cybersecurity technology. Co-ops will be able to select and implement technologies that best meet their operational needs and requirements.
NRECA is preparing a list of co-ops to participate in the program and their choices of cybersecurity technologies and services. For more information, contact NRECA Chief Scientist Emma Stewart at Emma.Stewart@nreca.coop.