New Tool Shows Security Strength

Thursday, July 5, 2012 @ 02:07 PM gHale

Cyber security is a major issue for utilities because of the potential vulnerabilities, the investments and the risks. The big questions always stares everyone straight in the face: Will the security actually work?

A new tool from the Energy Department, the Cyber Security Self-Evaluation Survey Tool, is out and ready to help utilities answer that question. Part of an overall White House initiative to develop a Cyber Security Capability Maturity Model for the electricity industry, the new tool “helps electric utilities and grid operators identify opportunities to further develop their own cyber security capabilities by posing a series of questions that focus on areas including situational awareness and threat and vulnerability management.”

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It also generates a report that can identify potential problem areas and score the organization’s cyber security capabilities.

The Cyber Security Capability Maturity Model comes from a diverse group of stakeholders led by the Energy Department (DoE) in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and in collaboration with industry, other federal agencies, Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute among others. More than a dozen utilities participated in pilot evaluations to help refine the model.

Utilities also can anonymously share their self-assessments with DoE and in return will receive reports with anonymous benchmarking results from all utility participants.