U.S. Sens. John Hoeven (R-ND) and Jacky Rosen (D-NV) introduced legislation that would create a voluntary Cyber Sense program at the Department of Energy to test the cybersecurity of products and technologies intended for use in the bulk-power system
The Cyber Sense Act (S.4795) would also establish a testing process for the products and a reporting process of cybersecurity vulnerabilities and require the Secretary of Energy to keep a related database on the products. This will aid electric utilities that evaluate products and their potential to harm the electric grid. Further, it would direct the Secretary of Energy to consider incentives to encourage the use of analysis and testing results under the program in the design of products and technologies for use in the bulk-power system.
“Our nation’s energy systems are essential to every home and business, and vulnerabilities in the grid and other infrastructure represent a real risk to the well-being of our citizens,” Hoeven said. “Our legislation supports the development and implementation of technologies and practices that will better secure our energy infrastructure from cyber-based attacks, protecting against those who would do us harm.”
Rosen said the nation would remain vulnerable if it does not act to address and mitigate cybersecurity risks.
“As our world becomes more digitized, the need for a strong defense of our nation’s electric infrastructure has never been more clear. I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan bill to provide much-needed training and technical assistance to electric utilities to address cybersecurity risks and strengthen our national security. I will continue to support legislation that equips our workforce and organizations with the skills needed to improve our nation’s electric grid resilience,” Rosen said.