“By 2020, resilient energy delivery systems are designed, installed, operated, and maintained to survive a cyber incident while sustaining critical functions.” – Energy Sector Control Systems Working Group Industry Roadmap, 2011
Cyber networks provide the framework for many important functions within energy delivery systems, from sending data between a smart meter and utility to controlling the flow of oil or gas in a pipeline. However, they are also vulnerable to disturbances. According to the ICS-CERT “Monitor” newsletter, a publication of the Department of Homeland Security, a third of the 245 reported cyber incidents in industrial control systems that happened in 2014 occurred in the energy sector.
The Cyber Resilient Energy Delivery Consortium (CREDC) works to make these systems more secure and resilient. In the cyber world, “security” refers to the ability to keep data confidential and uncorrupted, while “resiliency” is the ability to withstand attacks, provide an acceptable level of service in the midst of an incident, and recover quickly following an attack.
By involving industry early and often – from helping us to identify critical sector needs to performing pilot deployment and technology adoption – CREDC will develop projects that have significant and measurable sector impact. Our goal is to create a pipeline through which foundational research will lead to applied research and development, which in turn will result in technology that is effective and affordable and can be implemented quickly in the field.
Legacy & Leading the Way
CREDC is a successor to two earlier research initiatives focused on EDS resilience, particularly in the area of electric power:
- Trustworthy Cyber Infrastructure for the Power Grid (TCIP) project, a $7.5 million initiative funded in 2005 by the National Science Foundation with support from the Department of Energy and Department of Homeland Security;
- Trustworthy Cyber Infrastructure for the Power Grid (TCIPG) project, an $18.4 million initiative launched in 2009 by the DoE’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability with support from the DHS’s Science and Technology Directorate’s Cyber Security Division.
Back in 2005, the electricity sector was largely “security-unaware.” Thanks in part to those earlier efforts, there has since been widespread adoption of security best practices and technology. However, because the landscape continuously evolves, resiliency in a dynamic environment is key. With a broader research scope that includes the oil & gas industry and with support and funding provided by the U.S. Department of Energy, CREDC continues to lead the way.
Funding support for CREDC is provided by:
- Department of Energy Office of Electricity Delivery & Energy Reliability
- Department of Homeland Security Science & Technology Directorate
- Energy Industry Sponsorships