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Idaho National Laboratory

National Security
SCADA/Cyber/Power Grid Security

Comprehensive computer and cyber security programs are an essential element for today’s personnel computers as well as for the digital control systems that operate our nation’s infrastructure systems such as transportation and telecommunication systems and facilities such as chemical and water treatment plants.

Leveraging the Laboratory’s more than 50 years of experience in developing, operating, and maintaining complex control systems for nuclear reactors and other infrastructure systems, the INL created a Critical Infrastructure Test Range complete with full-scale infrastructure systems, remote and secure testing grounds, and an expert staff to aid the utility and control systems industry in developing tools and solutions to improve cyber security.

In 2004, the departments of Energy and Homeland Security established two multi-year programs at INL to protect the nation’s infrastructures against attacks from hackers, virus writers, disgruntled employees, terrorist organizations and nation states.

The National Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) Test Bed is funded by the Department of Energy and works in collaboration with Sandia National Laboratory to systematically analyze, test, and improve cyber security features in the control systems that operate the nation’s electric power grid. SCADA systems are also commonly found in the water and oil and gas industry.

The Control Systems Security Center is funded by the Department of Homeland Security and is working with industry, universities, national laboratories, and government agencies to identify and develop solutions to protect vital infrastructures from a cyber attack. The Center provides a centralized location for vulnerability assessments, tool development, research, and incident response.

Both programs are key efforts in response to President Bush’s National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace and employ experts in control systems operation, design, cyber security, and risk analysis. State-of-the-art research and testing facilities enables the running of mock exercises and calculated scenarios on full-scale control systems. The testing results provide facility owners and equipment manufactures with necessary data to improve cyber security standards within their control systems.