Cyber-Informed Engineering

NREL advances cyber-informed engineering (CIE) in the interest of designing secure, clean energy systems and in support of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) National Cyber-Informed Engineering Strategy.

The DOE Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response sponsors NREL CIE initiatives and coordinates the CIE program that includes NREL, Idaho National Laboratory, and industry, academic, and other partners.

Two people look at large computer display while one person points to infrastructure connected to the grid.

Check out DOE's implementation guide to learn how to apply the principles of cyber-informed engineering into engineered and cybersecurity systems.

Explore the open source cyber-informed engineering library on Idaho National Laboratory's website for support applying cyber-informed engineering principles.
The United States is at a defining moment for critical infrastructure—especially energy systems—as novel and expanding threats coincide with wholesale change in technology and operations. Against this backdrop, engineers must increasingly practice security-by-design and physics-based cybersecurity, which can be achieved through CIE.

CIE empowers engineers with tools and methods to integrate cybersecurity into the early design stages and throughout the life cycle of engineered systems. It is a set of principles that can be applied to any operational technology or critical infrastructure. In addition to DOE's National Cyber-Informed Engineering Strategy, CIE is further defined and discussed in the National Cyber Strategy and National Cyber Strategy Implementation Plan.

CIE is relevant to all critical infrastructure workers and helps fill the labor shortage in cybersecurity. It is a way for the engineering workforce to become more cyber-aware and implement secure decisions from design through operations, even if they are inexperienced with cyber concepts. Additionally, CIE standardization will simplify cybersecurity decisions across the entire workforce by providing trustworthy approaches and searchable resources.

As part of the CIE program, NREL and Idaho National Laboratory are leading a standard working group with stakeholders from a variety of backgrounds to explore and incorporate CIE principles into engineering standards. The national laboratories provide ideal environments to test new technological methods and gather industry consensus, which will facilitate quick and broad adoption across domains.


Gareth Williams

Principal Investigator, NREL Cyber-Informed Engineering Program