Jennifer Granholm, secretary at the Department of Energy, told a Senate committee that DOE wants to elevate the organizational structure of its cybersecurity, energy security and emergency response (CESER) office, FCW reported Tuesday.
She said at the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing Tuesday that the department also looks to equip CESER with first responder platforms and intends to keep career officials in the office leadership.
"What we'd like to do is to strengthen CESER by elevating it to be a directorate position, but not subject to who's in and who's out, a professional group that is trusted," Granholm added.
The department seeks to help electric utility operators defend power infrastructure against sophisticated threats as part of its 100-day coordinated effort with the private sector and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).
President Biden's fiscal 2022 DOE budget request includes $642 million for the department's cybersecurity programs, up 42 percent from the enacted FY 2021 funding level.