January 31, 2023
Conference Paper

User-Focused Tools to Enhance IT/OT Cyber Resilience within the Power Grid


The power grid is undergoing several changes that are increasing its complexity as nexuses between electric-gas, transmission-distribution, and energy-communications continue to become increasingly critical. This system is heavily dependent on communication infrastructure and controls, and it relies on humans in operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) roles to manage the increasing breadth, depth, and speed of data. Many technical challenges have presented themselves and will need to be addressed to provide reliable grid operations. With increased reliance on distributed controls and communication infrastructure, cybersecurity becomes an inherent requirement. When considering current cyber-physical security solutions for the power grid, one can notice a clear divide between information technology and operation technology networks. However, in real-life applications, these networks are interdependent. This work presents results of interviews with key utility cybersecurity personnel, analyzes the results, and makes recommendations towards solution of existing technical and operational challenges realized. Existing workflows are presented, wireframe interviews are discussed, and tool requirements are described. The existence of easy-to-implement solutions, based on existing energy management systems, highlight the potential for real-life applications.

Published: January 31, 2023


McKinnon A.D., J. Heintz-Obradovich, M. Legatt, M.J. Rice, C.A. Bonebrake, A.R. Vielma, and A. Bretas. 2022. User-Focused Tools to Enhance IT/OT Cyber Resilience within the Power Grid. In Resilience Week (RWS 2022), September 26-29, 2022, National Harbor, MD, 1-5. Piscataway, New Jersey:IEEE. PNNL-SA-174311. doi:10.1109/RWS55399.2022.9984026

Research topics