U.S. Department of Energy Protects Electrical Grids with Blockchain

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The U.S Department of Energy (DOE) is announcing exploration of blockchain technology for safeguarding power plants from cyber attacks.

The project aims to use blockchain to secure energy grid supply chain against cybercriminals. DOE’s National Technology Laboratory is conducting this work in collaboration with Colorado-based security firm Taekion. It is currently entering its second phase of development.

DOE Blockchain Electrical Grid Security

The national power grid heavily relies on computers to improve efficiency and reduce costs. However, this makes the grid vulnerable to cyber attacks.  Therefore, a large scale power grid attack could disrupt energy production and supply across the country, as evidenced by what Ukraine experienced in 2016.

In its effort, the U.S Department of Energy will provide $1 million in research funding, and will seek to secure energy supply chain by decentralizing data.  In addition, not only will this enable the DOE to continuously capture up-to-date data on the immutable blockchain, but it will also allow the department to track the status of the grid in real-time. If successful, the project will help safeguard the national grid against cyber attacks that could potentially disrupt the energy sector.

The press release noted:

“Accurate information on the status of power plant operations is critical for electric grid security. For example, one method of cyberattack involves compromising a system so that it appears operational when it has actually been shut down by the hackers, leaving millions without power […] The applications being developed in the NETL-managed project have the potential to thwart such attacks by preventing hackers from altering the plant’s operational information.”

Future Developments

Blockchain technology, when applied to cybersecurity, provides the best mechanism for critical infrastructure protection.

Recently, the DOE is funding $4.8 million for university research and development projects related to blockchain technology.

The decentralized nature of the technology makes it highly resilient to hacking attacks. Therefore, it can effectively deter bad actors from attacking essential systems like the national energy grid. It is, therefore, sensible that the DOE is exploring this disruptive technology to protect the electric grid.

Currently, the energy industry is shifting towards decentralization and disintermediation with the aim being to enhance both grid efficiency and security. By leveraging the benefits of blockchain to secure power plants, utilities and governments will be able to identify and address attacks as quickly as possible. This in turn leads to reduction in costs and better management of critical infrastructures.

Ray Battrick is a certified blockchain expert and FinTech copywriter who is devoted to working for you to build blockchain-based applications for your business. Ray is also a FinTech copywriter who is skilled at creating persuasive content for a wide range of products, including financial technology, business blockchain, investing and more. As an avid blockchain enthusiast, Ray enjoys writing about business blockchain, ICOs and cryptocurrency investment.

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