Smart Grid Cyber Security: Training for the Future

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Research Summary: 

The intent of this activity was to develop an open training platform that facilitates the rapid education of a wide variety of participants on important aspects of smart grid cyber security. The training platform consists of both presentations and hands-on training exercises that aid in the education of interested parties in research, industry, and government. Our aim was to create a phased and modular learning platform that provides essential base knowledge and builds upon that base knowledge with each lesson to advance students’ understanding of smart grid cyber security. At each phase in the process, we provide concrete applications of the topic areas to facilitate learning. The curriculum is designed such that different experts can easily contribute new content and revise existing content as the landscape changes, and is designed to be accessible to anyone, ranging from CEOs to engineers to office staff, while taking a project-based, hands-on, active-learning approach to reinforce the subject matter. The training development effort started with a gap analysis and mapping of existing cyber security training for the electric power grid, in relation to the DOE Secure Power System Professional (SPSP) and DHS National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) competencies and job responsibility designations. We also worked with industry and to gather topics of interest and information on sector needs. Based on those efforts, we created a core curriculum that is a combination of new material and material from previous TCIPG short courses on cyber security in the electric power grid. Topics covered by the current version of the curriculum include power fundamentals, cyber security fundamentals, communications and networking, cyber infrastructure in the electric power grid, monitoring and situational awareness, advanced metering infrastructure, smart grid guidance documents, electric sector capability maturity model, privacy in the smart grid, critical infrastructure security examples and impact, security challenges in distribution automation, embedded assessment, SCADA fundamentals, and robust control systems. Modules of the curriculum have been used to train vendors and utility personnel, and there is strong continued industry interest in the material.

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