Critical Infrastructure Protection
Leading diverse solutions in industrial cybersecurity and grid resilience
In today’s interconnected world a subtle risk can rapidly evolve into a major threat. That’s why researchers at INL are dedicated to securing the critical assets, control systems, and operational technology commonly found at power and renewable energy utilities, oil and natural gas refineries, water treatment plants, and manufacturing facilities. From adept and malicious cyber actors, to disruptive weather-related disasters and geomagnetic phenomenon, INL is widely recognized for our expertise in securing critical digital systems and improving infrastructure resiliency.
Cyber Research and Development
Working with a broad range of private industries, government organizations, vendors and manufacturers to develop techniques and tools, INL researchers help reduce the cyber vulnerabilities found in many of the nation’s critical infrastructures.
To achieve mission success, the center combines seasoned control systems cybersecurity analysts, experienced power engineers, cyber researchers, and control systems experts to perform cutting edge analysis.
Control Systems Engineering
Driving national research and development efforts for cyber-physical systems by partnering with government, academia and industry to accelerate workforce development and address mission critical control systems cybersecurity challenges.
Cyber Systems Resilience and Analysis
INL advances the cyber resilience of critical infrastructure for the U.S. through improving and supporting cyber-physical risk analysis and risk management based on Information Technology and Operational Technology cyber defense and digital engineering practices. Tools and capabilities include:
Grid Security Research and Engineering
Impacting Early-Stage R&D with Applied Power Engineering.
DOE-supported grid security programs and projects include:
INL grid security research and technologies include:
- Protective Relay Permissive Communication (PRPC) – develop emerging solutions to protect the modern power grid from cyber and physical threats.
- Resilient Controls and Instrumentation Systems (ReCIS) – maintain state awareness and proactively maintain operational normalcy in response to anomalies, including malicious and unexpected threats.
Critical Infrastructure Analysis
Interdependencies of Systems
Critical infrastructure analysis enables stakeholders to improve resilience and disaster preparation through resiliency assessment, dependency analysis and visualization, commodity and proportional flow mapping, modeling and geospatial analysis, as well as tabletop exercises and other risk management tools.
- All Hazards Analysis – hyperlink
- Infrastructure Applications for Information Technology
- Cyber-Physical Consequences
- Geospatial Science Analysis and Custom Visualization
Full-scale Electric Grid Testing
The nation’s electric power grid consists of thousands of miles of high-voltage power lines, substations and distribution transformers, and millions of miles of low-voltage power lines providing electricity to homes, businesses and communities. Industrial control systems are at the heart of this network, controlling the flow of power and regulating safety and reliability.
Digital Modeling and Simulation
INL has the largest installation of Real-Time Digital Simulator (RTDS) in the national lab system. In collaboration with the Department of Defense, INL researchers use this physics-based simulator for enhancing the security of the nation’s electric power grid and related control systems including supervisory control and data acquisition systems. Engineers use it to visualize the effects of power grid failures.
- Modeling and Simulation for Target Electrical Resilience and Reliability Improvements (MASTERRI) – enables utility leaders to identify and prioritize electrical system repairs and upgrades to prevent cascading failures. The analysis process identifies critical vulnerabilities and the overall potential for system failure.