The mission of the Center for Infrastructure Trustworthiness in Energy Systems (CITES) is to reduce threats to the nation’s power delivery systems by developing capabilities that can rapidly detect cyberattacks, enable infrastructure to continue to operate in the presence of such attacks, and quickly restore infrastructure after an attack.
Power and energy delivery systems — including electric power, oil and gas, energy markets, and the infrastructure supporting electric vehicles, smart buildings, and smart cities — depend increasingly on cybertechnology. Even legacy systems that use closed serial communications can be exposed to adversaries through networking, and are increasingly targeted by nation-states and independent actors. The threat to critical infrastructure is worldwide, with energy systems being of highest priority when it comes to the need for security.
CITES focuses on the trustworthiness of power and energy systems in developing security solutions specific to their protection, and increases the resilience, reliability, safety, and cybersecurity of these power delivery systems at the operational level in novel ways that expand on traditional IT system protection strategies.
CITES brings together uniquely qualified academic researchers in partnership with a diverse group of private sector stakeholders, trade associations, and national laboratories who share this vision. CITES is also creating a larger pool of students with training and skills in this area of national importance, and increasing the number of university faculty members who are able to make foundational contributions to trustworthy energy systems. To broaden diversity in the field, CITES recruits faculty members as well as graduate and undergraduate students from populations historically underrepresented in such work.
CITES aims to affect how decision-makers in energy view and make investments to improve the trustworthiness of their own infrastructures. Through its industrial interactions and outreach, CITES is helping create a larger cyber-savvy operational technology workforce. Together, CITES’s technical, educational, and outreach activities and innovations will have a broad and major impact on society and will provide collaborative opportunities to develop new technologies that support national security.
CITES pursues security-focused research across a range of areas that include: