Government wants to get even closer to cybersecurity as the Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security and Emergency Response (CESER) ended up created in the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) to help secure U.S. energy infrastructure, Energy Secretary Rick Perry said this week.
The President’s fiscal year 2019 budget proposal includes $96 million in funding for the new office.
“DoE plays a vital role in protecting our nation’s energy infrastructure from cyber threats, physical attack and natural disaster, and as secretary, I have no higher priority,” Perry said. “This new office best positions the department to address the emerging threats of tomorrow while protecting the reliable flow of energy to Americans today.”
An assistant secretary will lead the office. It will focus on energy infrastructure security and supporting the Energy Department’s expanded national security responsibilities. The assistant secretary will report directly to the energy secretary.
Attacks on U.S. energy infrastructure have been a growing cause for concern.
The Global Energy Institute reported cyber intrusions into pipeline and electric power infrastructure were occurring at “alarming rate,” with energy-related attacks accounting for 40 percent of all incidents by fiscal year 2012.
Late last year, the Department of Homeland Security and FBI warned foreign cyber attackers had targeted the energy sector and industrial firms. Hackers had infiltrated at least one energy generator, officials said, and was conducting reconnaissance on its networks.