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DOE Establishes Fellowship to Support Industry-Government Collab on Operational Tech; Dan Brouillette Quoted

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The Department of Energy has initiated an effort to foster collaboration between the government's national security experts and the energy industry's operational technology managers.

DOE said Wednesday its OT Defender Fellowship tasks Idaho National Laboratory to help critical infrastructure security practitioners gain an increased understanding of cybersecurity.

The Cyberspace Solarium Commission, a law-mandated group tasked to advise on the country's cybersecurity strategy, supports the OT Defender Fellowship.

“Securing our energy infrastructure is not an abstract policy idea, it is an immediate need to protect our nation from the real threat of malign actors,” said Sen. Angus King, CSC co-chair.

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Center for Cyber and Technology Innovation will serve as INL's partner for the effort.

“Operational technology security managers keep the core physical systems of our energy infrastructure running smoothly in the face of natural disasters, physical sabotage and nation-state cyberattacks,” said Dan Brouillette, secretary of energy.

“I have long supported efforts like the OT Defender Fellowship to provide opportunities for closer interaction between critical infrastructure providers and U.S. government cyber operators," said Tom Fanning, CSC commissioner.