Murkowski: Emerging Technologies Key to Protecting U.S. Energy Infrastructure from Cyber Intrusions

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today chaired a hearing to discuss the innovation of emerging cyber technologies that can be used to protect our nation’s electric grids and other critical energy infrastructure from future cyberattacks. The committee heard from representatives of the Pacific Northwest, Oak Ridge and Idaho National Laboratories, Qubitekk, and New Context Services.

While we are looking at solutions to rebuild stronger electric grids in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to withstand natural disasters, we must also look for ways to harden the grid from constantly-evolving cyber intrusions.

“It seems like every day we hear about an attempted hack or actual breach that has taken place. With this growing threat, we must continually look for ways to eliminate, diminish, or mitigate our vulnerabilities,” Murkowski said. “Advanced and emerging technologies are critical to protecting our national energy infrastructure from these attacks. Whether it is the application of quantum encryption, artificial intelligence, or moving control of grid infrastructure off of the public internet, there is significant research and development underway to provide a safe and reliable energy system now and in the future.”

Murkowski is chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. In this Congress, a series of hearings focused on cybersecurity, electromagnetic pulse, and grid security issues have been held at both the full committee and subcommittee level. An archived video and testimony from today’s hearing are available on the committee’s website. Click here and here to view both rounds of Murkowski’s questions for witnesses. 

Related Issues: Energy