U.S. power systems represent an increasingly desirable target for cyber hackers. An IBM report, cited in The New York Times last May, noted that “the energy industry was the third most targeted sector for such attacks in 2020, behind only finance and manufacturing.” To address this issue, the U.S. Department of Energy announced on April 21 that it was committing $12 million in grants to fund initiatives to better secure the U.S. energy infrastructure. The grant program named six university-based programs as grant recipients, including NYU Tandon School of Engineering.
The Brooklyn, NY school will use its three-year, $1,939,416 grant to develop a new program for identifying and addressing vulnerabilities in power grids. Dubbed Tracking Real Time Anomalies in Power Systems or TRAPS, the NYU initiative will be a collaborative effort with researchers at SRI International, the New York Power Authority, and Consolidated Edison.
NYU’s efforts will be overseen by Dr. Farshad Khorrami, a professor of electrical and computer engineering (ECE) at NYU. Dr Ramesh Karri and Dr. Prashanth Krishnamurthy, both faculty in the ECE Department at NYU, serve as co-investigators.
In announcing the awards, U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm notes that, “investing in cutting-edge cyber security technology keeps us at the forefront of global innovation and protects America’s power grid in the face of increasing cyber threats from abroad.” She adds, “This funding will bolster our commitment to a secure and resilient clean energy future by fortifying American electricity systems and building a stronger grid.”
To see the full list of Department of Energy grant recipients, click here.