Utility Cyber Security Initiative (UCSI)

 

UTILITY CYBER SECURITY INITIATIVE (UCSI)

The Utility Cyber Security Initiative (UCSI) is a program element of USAID’s Energy Sector Cybersecurity Initiative (ESCI). UCSI was established by the United States Agency for International Development, the United States Energy Association and the electric power and natural gas transmission system operators and distribution companies in the Europe and Eurasia (E&E) region in response to the increasingly virulent cyber-attacks on the electric grid in these countries. The Members of the UCSI include Chief Information Technology (IT) and Chief Operations Technology (OT) Officers of E&E utilities.

OBJECTIVES

The objectives of the UCSI are to:

  • Provide an ongoing forum for E&E utilities to exchange information and best practices with each other and with European and North American utilities on:
    • the breadth and scope of cyber-attacks on the global electric grid;
    • deployment of information and operations technologies to strengthen cyber security;
    • human resource management to improve utility cyber hygiene practices;
  • Empower E&E utilities to undertake cyber security based managerial and organizational reform; and
  • Promote the use of international cyber security standards in the E&E region

WORKING GROUP

UCSI has conducted three regional workshops in support of these objectives.  As a result of the workshops, members are developing the following to combat the growing cyber security threat to the region:

  1. High level cyber security strategies;
  2. Risk assessment methodology to identify and prioritize the utility’s highest-level risks; and
  3. Regional information sharing and analysis capability.

PROGRESS

  • Developing a cyber risk assessment methodology customized to the E&E region to identify the top 10 cyber threats to each UCSI member
  • Developing “high level” cyber strategies for UCSI members to prioritize initial cyber security network investments
  • Conducted a cyber security management audit of the Georgian State Electro System identifying management and cultural change priorities
  • Supporting development of a virtual cyber Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAC)