The United States Senate has passed a bill to help strengthen the defenses of the U.S. energy grid against digital attacks.
On 27 June, the Senate passed the Securing Energy Infrastructure Act. Introduced by U.S. Senators Angus King (I-Maine) and Jim Risch (R-Idaho), the main purpose of the bipartisan bill is to remove security vulnerabilities which digital attackers can abuse to access the U.S. energy grid. It seeks to do this by implementing several steps, including:
- Creating a two-year pilot program within the National Laboratories that will partner with entities in the energy sector to identify security vulnerabilities as well as evaluate technology and standards to protect covered industrial control systems against those vulnerabilities.
- Establishing a working group to evaluate the technology and standards used in the program as well as develop a strategy to defend energy sector entities against security vulnerabilities.
- Submit reports that present the results of the program.