A Gap Analysis of Cyber Security Training for the Smart Grid

Yardley, T.

Master’s Thesis, Information Technology College of Western Governors University, May 2014.


In this work, an analysis was conducted of the existing pedagogy and various bodies of knowledge that are utilized in cyber security training for critical infrastructure such as the electric power grid (smart grid). The project was implemented as a three-phased approach. Phase 1 involved collecting the existing pedagogy, body of knowledge for training, and job requirements and competencies in this area. Phase 2 consisted of a gap analysis comparing the requirements of the industry compared to the existing training. Phase 3 focused on the detailed writeup of the gap analysis work.

The gap analysis discerned what exists both in approach and content in relation to workforce needs comparing coverage of topical areas and competencies in relation to job needs. It is intended that this gap analysis will be utilized in the future to determine areas of improvement and to develop an open training curriculum and platform that facilitates the rapid education of a wide variety of participants on important background and job-focused aspects of smart grid cyber security. This future-developed curriculum will consist of both presentations and hands-on training tools that will aid in the education of interested parties in research, industry, and government.

It was anticipated that the existing pedagogy and various bodies of knowledge have deficiencies that exist in comparison to the needs or ideal solutions for the target audience entering the workforce or changing career focus as the needs evolve. This hypothesis proved to be true, that there were existing gaps in the training material and areas of improvement. The details of this report cover that analysis and its conclusions.

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