NRECA Wins DOE Grant to Advance Cybersecurity Solution to Market

August 18, 2016 — The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) today announced that the Department of Energy (DOE) will be awarding funding to NRECA to advance “React,” a cybersecurity solution for utilities that monitors IT networks for near real-time detection of possible cyber intrusions.

React is one of twelve projects receiving grants from the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability’s Cybersecurity of Energy Delivery Systems (CEDS) program at the DOE. React builds on a prototype solution, Essence, developed by NRECA in partnership with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Honeywell and Carnegie Mellon University and also funded by the DOE.

React will develop a system for the rapid detection of cyber attacks and compromised systems, and support users in rapid remediation. Under this grant, the NRECA team will make this system available to utilities by incorporating it into commercially-available products. These products will significantly enhance the security of smaller utilities by performing valuable monitoring and analysis of the utilities’ IT system, alerting the utility to the possibility of intrusions.

“We built a powerful prototype in an earlier DOE project. It works. With this project we can work with commercial partners to take it to production. We plan to improve the security of thousands of utilities,” said Jim Spiers, senior vice-president of business and technology strategies at NRECA.

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is the national service organization that represents the nation’s more than 900 private, not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives, which provide service to 42 million people in 47 states.