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Annual Cybersecurity & Resilience Workshop

NREL’s Cyber Physical Systems Security & Resilience (CPSSR) Center hosted its second annual workshop on October 9-10, 2017, at the Denver Marriott West in Golden, Colorado. The theme for the 2017 workshop was “best practices for distributed energy resource (DER) security."

Attendees came from utilities, vendors, and other national laboratories across the United States, exploring the critical subject of cybersecurity and the electric grid today. Common concerns—and opportunities—that were discussed throughout the two-day event included the existing gaps in security for DERs, interoperability of security standards for DER, the impact of organizational silos, and the benefits of systemic security architecture for DER. 

Cross-Cutting Panels and Breakout Sessions

Workshop attendees participated in three cross-cutting panel discussions, led by CPSSR Center Director Erfan Ibrahim. The purpose of each panel discussion was to leverage viewpoints from a range of industry stakeholders and generate thoughtful discussion on the complexity of cybersecurity and DER. At the end of the workshop, attendees split into breakout groups to identify possible solutions to the challenges in securing DERs—from a technology, business, and policy perspective. The below videos showcase one of the three cross-cutting panel discussions, as well as readouts on key takeaways from each breakout group discussion.


"The perfect mixture of experts, insight, thought leadership, innovation, and networking made NREL’s 2017 Cyber workshop the absolute most productive time event on this topic."

— Robert Katz, Executive Director, World Cyber Institute

Presenters covered topics from the convergence of information technology (IT) and operations technology (OT) to mitigating the dangers of electromagnetic pulse, security implications of connecting microgrids to the macrogrid, and what research is needed to mitigate the challenges that still exist in DER security today. See below for a list of downloadable presentations from the workshop. More presentations will be posted as they become available. 

Day 1: October 9, 2017

Disruptive Ideas for Power Grid Security and Resilience with DER
Erfan Ibrahim, Cyber Physical Systems Security and Resilience Center Director, NREL
SMERC: UCLA Smart Grid Research Center
Rajit Gadh, Smart Grid Energy Research Center Director, University of California, Los Angeles
Interconnection of Microgrids into the Macro Grid: A cybersecurity perspective
Douglass Campbell, CEO, DC Systems
Distributed Energy Resource Cybersecurity Standards
Jay Johsnon, Sandia National Laboratories, and Danish Saleem, NREL 
CAISO Perspective on DER (Watch this presentation)
Tom Williams, Security Architect Lead, California Independent System Operator (CAISO) 

Day 2: October 10, 2017 

Shared Energy Resources (ShERs): Outage Prevention through Shared DERs
Abdulelah Habib, PhD candidate, University of California, San Diego
OMG Data Distribution Service, Energy, and Cyber Resilience Research
Paul Pazandak, Director of Research, Real-Time Innovations
Cybersecurity and Distributed Energy Resources
Mark Weatherford, SVP & Chief Cybersecurity Strategist, vArmour
EMP: A Real Threat to the Electric Grid
Dwight Eckert, State Director, EMP Task Force
Security Fabric Architecture: Toward a Buildable Architecture Supporting Fractal Microgrids
Toby Considine, President, TC9 Inc.
PowerMatcher-B (Blockchain)
William Miller, President, MaCT


Erfan Ibrahim

Center Director, Cyber-physical Systems Security And Resilience | 303-384-7433

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