Electric Co-ops Improve Cybersecurity

cybersecurity workers

Electric cooperatives received $6 million in a cooperative agreement between the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and the U.S. Department of Energy to further develop the co-ops’ groundbreaking cybersecurity tool know as Essence.

The tool uses sophisticated, real-time anomaly detection to identify and warn of possible network breaches. The DOE funds will be used for a three-year development, deployment and testing of advanced technology at 55 electric co-ops across the country.

This next step, Essence 2.0, will enable the utility industry to share characteristics of an incident to help detect whether or not a large, coordinated cyberattack is being attempted.

“The DOE award will allow us to continue to advance the platform’s usefulness for industry and strengthen our capabilities for protecting our nation’s power grid,” said Doug Lambert of NRECA’s grid solutions department.