The Departments of Energy (DOE), Homeland Security (DHS), and Defense (DoD) announced Feb. 3 a collaborative initiative to prepare for and respond to cyberattacks on critical energy infrastructure, in part by putting energy infrastructure threat response plans to the test.

The Energy Sector Pathfinder, established by a memorandum of understanding between the three agencies, is an exploratory program aiding the Federal government’s understanding of the energy infrastructure’s cyberthreat landscape.

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“The lessons learned through this program will help inform the process to develop indicators and warnings across multiple national critical functions, enhance cyber threat information sharing efforts, and facilitate rapid response and improved resiliency across all sectors,” Bryan Ware, assistant director for cybersecurity at DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), said.

DoD’s Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Global Security Kenneth Rapuano added, “This collaborative effort is complementary to the DoD Cyber Strategy objective to defend U.S. critical infrastructure from malicious foreign cyber activity.”

Through the new program, the agencies will stress-test cyberthreat response playbooks for energy infrastructure stakeholders. DOE’s Assistant Secretary of Cybersecurity, Energy Security and Emergency Response Karen Evans said that the intergovernmental cooperation on this effort will bolster the department’s ability to proactively address cyberthreats.

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Katie Malone
Katie Malone
Katie Malone is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.