DOE $45 million award eyes leaps in grid cyberdefense

By Peter Behr | 02/27/2024 06:16 AM EST

From AI to quantum computing, companies and research labs aim to build advanced defenses.

cybersecurity computer illustration

Claudine Hellmuth/E&E News(graphic); Freepik(computer); (lock)

The Department of Energy has awarded $45 million in research grants for 16 projects focused on developing the next lines of defense for a U.S. power grid facing ever-evolving cybersecurity threats.

The grants announced Monday seek to jump past the current battlefield to get ahead of future threats or close long-standing vulnerabilities, DOE said.

“This investment in cyber research and development comes at a critical moment for the country,” said Puesh Kumar, director of DOE’s Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security and Emergency Response. “While foreign adversaries, such as China, seek to position themselves for disruptive or destructive cyberattacks against U.S. energy infrastructure, cyber innovations like these will help ensure that doesn’t happen.”


The awards are aimed at kick-starting research and development that could take years. The awards will not help in detecting and blocking today’s most menacing campaigns like China’s Volt Typhoon intrusion into U.S. computers operating critical infrastructure.
Volt Typhoon intrusion