Energy advances cyber role

The Energy Department is looking to blunt attacks and close gaps in critical infrastructure.

Rick Perry Energy SECY Austin Tx 6/4/18 via livestream

Energy Secretary Rick Perry talks cybersecurity at the agency's conference in Austin, Texas.

The Energy Department and the White House are addressing the growing danger to the energy grid's cybersecurity, said Secretary Rick Perry.

"The consequences of a grid failure would be devastating," Perry said the agency's cybersecurity conference in Austin, Texas on June 4.

A previously unreleased 2017 report from Energy and Homeland Security made public the week of May 28 pointed to seven "capability gaps" in this critical infrastructure sector's ability to respond to cyber incidents. Those gaps center around incident impact analysis; states' integration of cybersecurity planning; workforce and supply chain management.

"The threat is growing by the day. Our efforts to combat it should be at least equal," Perry said.

Since the cybersecurity executive order last year, Perry said his department has stood up the Cybersecurity, Energy Security and Emergency Response unit to coordinate responses to energy sector cyber incidents. DOE, said Perry, has also set up an initiative to accelerate sector cybersecurity and issued a long-term energy cybersecurity plan while tapping national labs to take a more active role in developing cybersecurity technologies.