Jun 24 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) co-sponsored the Cyber Sense Act, bipartisan legislation that would create a voluntary Cyber Sense program at the Department of Energy to test the cybersecurity of products and technologies intended for use in the bulk-power system.
“Over the last few months, we have seen the severity cybercrime attacks can have on our nation’s infrastructure, and it is past time for Congress to ensure our electrical grid can withstand possible attacks in the future,” said Senator Tillis. “This bipartisan legislation will allow the Department of Energy to test cybersecurity products and provide voluntary technical training to our power providers to ensure they are protected.”
Identical companion legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this year by Representatives Bob Latta (R-OH) and Jerry McNerney (D-CA) and passed the House Energy and Commerce Committee this month.
Specifically, the bipartisan Cyber Sense Act would:
  • Create a voluntary Department of Energy ‘Cyber Sense’ program that would identify and promote cyber-secure products for use in the bulk-power system.
  • Establish a testing process for the products along with a reporting process of cybersecurity vulnerabilities.
  • Require the Secretary of Energy to keep a related database on the products, which will aid electric utilities that are evaluating products and their potential to cause harm to the electric grid.
  • Direct the Secretary of Energy to consider incentives to encourage the use of analysis and results of testing under the program in the design of products and technologies for use in the bulk-power system.