Energy aims to improve security of electric grid

Friday - 1/6/2012, 8:51am EST

The Energy Department is launching a new effort to improve security for the nation's electric grid. It wants to develop a cybersecurity maturity model grid operators can measure themselves against.

Energy Secretary Steve Chu says his department will work with Homeland Security and major electric utilities to develop the model.

"This initiative is another important step forward in improving the security of the nation's energy infrastructure and ensuring that the country's electrical systems remain secure, reliable and resilient," Chu said, according to the Energy website. "Establishing a comprehensive cybersecurity approach will give utility companies and grid operators another important tool to improve the grid's ability to respond to cybersecurity risks."

Energy will host a series of workshops where participants can fashion the model. Chu said he expects the model to be published this summer.

The idea of maturity models comes from the software industry. The more mature an organization, the more reliable and error free its software development practices.

This story is part of Federal News Radio's daily Cybersecurity Update. For more cybersecurity news, click here.