Departments of Homeland Security, Energy launch new test centers at the INEEL


The U.S. Department of Energy's Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are opening the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) Control Systems Security and Test Center Aug. 19.

The test center is a key part of the national DHS initiative that focuses on enhancing the security of computer-based control systems that support America's critical infrastructure operations.

Located in Idaho Falls, the test center allows control system stakeholders, such as utility companies and manufactures, to identify and reduce control system vulnerabilities, help identify sector requirements, develop partner agreements and share information to support and implement design improvements. The test center provides stakeholders with relevant data and research facilities to support investment in enhanced control systems security.

The test center will coordinate control systems testing and evaluation currently performed at a variety of national laboratories and universities. It will create national-scale testing and analysis, while centralizing data repository for sharing objectives and test results. The test center will enable new testing to support specific industry and sector control systems requirements and develop protective measures tailored to a specific industry.

Along with the DHS-sponsored center, the INEEL is also formally opening the National SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) Test Bed, established in collaboration with Sandia National Laboratories for DOE's Office of Energy Assurance, and the INEEL's Cyber Security Test Bed, used to validate and secure computer and Internet vulnerabilities.

Guests from the DOE's Office of Energy Assurance and representatives from the DHS will attend a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open these facilities.

"We're pleased that DHS and DOE selected Idaho and the INEEL to help them with these important tasks," said Paul Kearns, INEEL Laboratory director. "Our day-to-day systems operations expertise, coupled with our unsurpassed physical and cyber security knowledge, will enable us to make valuable contributions to these programs."

This DHS multiyear program has an initial operating budget of $10 million. The INEEL was selected for this mission because of its applied engineering and operational expertise. The Laboratory has designed, built and operates a variety of critical infrastructures for its own power distribution, manufacturing, chemical reprocessing and other complex operations.

The INEEL is a science-based, multiprogram national laboratory dedicated to advancing the DOE's strategic goals in the areas of energy, national security, science and environment. It is the home of science and engineering solutions and is operated for the DOE by Bechtel BWXT Idaho, LLC.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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