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DOE Unveils 100-Day Power Infrastructure Cybersecurity Plan; Jennifer Granholm Quoted

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The Department of Energy will coordinate with electric utility companies and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency over the next 100 days to beef up defenses against threat actors that target U.S. power systems.

DOE said Tuesday that its cybersecurity, energy security and emergency response office will aim to develop tools intended to help industrial control system operators monitor, detect and respond to malicious cyber activity.

“It’s up to both government and industry to prevent possible harms—that’s why we’re working together to take these decisive measures so Americans can rely on a resilient, secure and clean energy system,” said Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm.

Earlier this year, President Biden implemented a 90-day suspension of Executive Order 13920 his predecessor signed in May 2020 to restrict U.S. procurement and use of interconnected electrical equipment from foreign adversaries.

The department invoked the authority of an emergency declaration last year after issuing the December 2020 Prohibition Order that banned the importation of bulk-power systems that support critical defense facilities.

DOE on Tuesday revoked the prohibition order to give way to the creation of new strategies in fortifying the energy sector cybersecurity before EO 13920 expires on May 1.

As part of the 100-day initiative, DOE is seeking ideas from companies, academic institutions, research laboratories and federal agencies on how to secure the supply chain for energy systems.

If you’re interested in cybersecurity, check out GovCon Wire’s Defense Cybersecurity Forum coming up on May 12. Click here to learn more.