Asimily Joins Second Cohort of Clean Energy Cybersecurity Accelerator

Program Selected Two Participants for Cohort 2

May 22, 2024 | By Mariah Cox | Contact media relations

An image of text that reads "Asimily Selected for Cohort 2, Joining runZero. CECA: Clean Energy Cybersecurity Accelerator. Cohort 2: Uncovering hidden risks on utility networks."

The Clean Energy Cybersecurity Accelerator™ (CECA) program recently selected Asimily for Cohort 2. Asimily joins runZero as the cohort’s second participant.

The second cohort of CECA focuses on validating solutions that promise to identify all information technology (IT), operational technology (OT), and internet-of-things (IoT) assets connected to a utility’s infrastructure—a pressing need as modern energy systems are becoming increasingly distributed and reliant on digital communication networks.

Utilities need visibility into the totality of physical and virtual assets connected to their systems—including unauthorized, unmanaged, or compromised assets requiring removal or remediation—to manage risks proactively and secure their resources. Cohort 2 validation testing aims to accelerate the adoption of innovative security technologies that can help meet this need.

Cohort 2 Solutions

Two solutions are undergoing evaluation in Cohort 2:

  • Asimily’s solution identifies devices by examining network traffic and parsing protocols to aid with inventory management, vulnerability mitigation, and threat detection and investigation. With a protocol analyzer, deep packet inspection, and machine-learning-based analysis, Asimily classifies devices, applications, services, and connections into families. The solution is deployed locally to provide visibility into all IT, OT, and IoT traffic. This real-time traffic analysis extracts insights and then reports to a centralized server.
  • The runZero solution combines active scanning, native passive discovery, and integrations to discover IT, OT, and IoT assets. Read more about the runZero Platform.

The CECA testing and validation program is assessing both Asimily and runZero solutions’ technical capabilities in the Advanced Research on Integrated Energy Systems (ARIES) Cyber Range. The cyber range combines an advanced virtual environment representative of real energy systems with hardware-in-the-loop components. The solutions are evaluated for their ability to provide rich asset information and their impact on the operational environment, among other key features.

Results from the assessments will be compiled and published in public reports that document the research process and outcomes.

A New Track: Evaluating Premarket Technologies

As part of Cohort 2 testing and evaluation, the CECA program is expanding its scope to include a new track: one that will focus on emerging technologies from the U.S. Department of Energy research and development portfolio.

As compared to Track 1, which evaluates mature, market-ready solutions such as runZero and Asimily, Track 2 will evaluate premarket technologies to increase their technology readiness levels and bridge the “valley of death” between innovation and commercialization. Like Track 1, technologies in Track 2 will undergo rigorous testing in CECA’s proven emulated, nonproprietary utility environment.

Once deployed in the environment, technologies will be tested iteratively to identify opportunities for improvement. Updated versions of the technologies can then be redeployed into the environment for further validation and testing.

“This is where the accelerator component of the CECA program will really shine, propelling successful technologies from research to practice,” said Jodi Kouts, CECA program manager at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER). “We’re eager to transition these clean energy innovations to the grid where they can make a significant impact.”

A Proving Ground for Innovators

CECA offers a proving ground for innovators seeking to meet the needs of rapidly changing energy systems that are more digitally connected, more distributed, and include more diverse stakeholders. Participating innovators can expect to walk away with competitive experience, professional third-party evaluation, and increased market visibility of their technologies.

CECA is managed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and sponsored by DOE CESER and utility partners in collaboration with DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

Read more about CECA, program eligibility, and a summary of findings from Cohort 1, and subscribe to CECA email updates.

Tags: Energy Security and Resilience