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White House Cybersecurity Summit

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Deputy Secretary of Energy Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall last week participated in a panel discussion on the ‘Public-Private Collaboration on Cybersecurity’ as part of the White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection keynoted by President Obama.

Moderated by Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, Deputy Secretary Sherwood-Randall discussed building upon the work of the Electricity Sub-Sector Coordinating Council (ESCC), and the importance of expanding and enhacing public-private cooperation to further safeguard consumers. She was joined on the panel by Kenneth Chanault, Chairman and CEO, American Express; Anthony Earley, Jr., Chairman and CEO, Pacific Gas & Electric; Mark McLaughlin, President and CEO, Kaiser Permanente.

“The partnership highlighted by this summit is at the core of what we are doing to work with industry and academia to address cybersecurity risks”, said Sherwood-Randall. “We must strengthen our cooperation with the private sector to continuously improve our collective cybersecurity capabilities. We are interdependent in this critical mission to ensure the reliability of our energy grid and our national security”.

DOE’s National Labs are conducting cutting edge research on cyber and physical challenges to critical infrastructure. For example, at Idaho National laboratory, DOE has a real world, 900 square mile grid scale test range, which enables testing of the interdependencies of modern grid technologies and the evolving threat to critical infrastructures. Over the last several years 80% of the world’s control system vendors have been tested through government funded assessments at Idaho National Laboratory. The testing is often followed by design reviews, and mitigation discussions with the vendor. DOE also conducts live exercises to train government and private sector cybersecurity experts on control system technologies and what they can do to minimize and mitigate vulnerabilities. 

Adapted from a press release by Emma McAleavey.

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