The need to improve the relationship between and among government and industry for cybersecurity is a constantly recurring theme. There has been an exponential increase in complexity in securing an ever growing electric grid with an increasing number of stakeholders. This complexity underscores the need to create a comprehensive public private partnership to coordinate the efforts in the industry to meet the growing challenge of securing the electric sector. Some information is being shared, and some collaboration is taking place, but not on a scale or with a speed commensurate to the importance of the topic.
In an attempt to stimulate greater partnership and information sharing, H.R. 3183 required that "...the Secretary shall establish an independent national energy sector cyber security organization..." In response, the Department of Energy issued a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) on March 31, 2010. Two organizations received awards under this FOA. EnergySec and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) were selected to form the National Electric Sector Cybersecurity Organization (NESCO). EPRI serves as the research and analysis resource for NESCO as the National Electric Sector Cybersecurity Organization Resource (NESCOR).
The two organizations serve as a focal point to bring together domestic and international experts, developers, and users who are working to strengthen the cybersecurity posture of the electric sector by establishing a broad-based public-private partnership for collaboration and cooperation. This includes complementing and enhancing the development and implementation of key milestones and objectives called for in the Roadmap to Secure Control Systems in the Energy Sector. It is expected that NESCO/NESCOR will work cooperatively with the Department of Energy, other Federal agencies, the Information Sharing and Analysis Center for the Electric Sector (ES-ISAC), and industry.