Research Center Hosts Cybersecurity and Energy Leaders

Alan Mantooth tries on a virtual reality headset.
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Alan Mantooth tries on a virtual reality headset.

Leaders in cybersecurity and energy delivery gathered in Fayetteville in June to discuss research related to protecting energy systems from attack.

The Cybersecurity Center for Secure Evolvable Energy Delivery Systems, a cooperative research center between the Department of Electrical Engineering and the Department of Computer Science and Computer Engineering, hosted its 2019 annual Industrial Advisory Board Meeting June 12-14 in Fayetteville. The meeting drew together faculty and students from six partner universities and industry leaders from six companies to discuss current research projects and the goals of the center.

The gathering kicked off with a welcome from Dan Sui, University of Arkansas vice chancellor for research and innovation and an introduction to the center by Alan Mantooth, executive director of the Cybersecurity Center.

The majority of the meeting focused on current research projects such as Security Patch Automated Remediation Tool Analyzing the NVD, which focuses on researching and developing a tool that automatically learns and predicts human operator's decisions about the patches/remediation actions applied to the energy company's security vulnerabilities so that the operator does not have to manually decide on every patch/remediation action, and the Cyber-Secure Power Router, which investigates new methods of cybersecurity to work on systems that manage data and power. That project will focus on securing communications as well as the internal controls and hardware of the power router to ensure that even if the device is attacked, it can remain operational in a safe operating mode.

Brief descriptions of all projects can be found on the SEEDS website, seeds.uark.edu

Faculty researchers presented an overview on the status of their projects, allowing industry attendees to supply immediate feedback and discussion on each project. The poster session included 20 research projects and a virtual interactive demonstration for attendees.

Meetings of the Cybersecurity Center are open to all industry members, invited guests, and faculty and students from partnering universities. The next meeting will be held in Little Rock on Oct. 14-15.

The Cybersecurity Center for Secure Evolvable Energy Delivery Systems is beginning its fifth year as part of the Cybersecurity for Energy Delivery Systems academic R&D program. This program focuses on providing solutions outlined by the "Roadmap to Achieve Energy Delivery Systems Cybersecurity."


The 2019 annual Industrial Advisory Board Meeting June 12-14 in Fayetteville.

About the Cybersecurity Center for Secure Evolvable Energy Delivery Systems: At the center, engineering faculty from the University of Arkansas, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Lehigh University, Florida International University, Carnegie Mellon University, MIT and engineers with Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation collaborate with members of industry to identify and carry out research projects in the area of cybersecurity technologies for energy delivery systems that are the most relevant to industry needs. The Cybersecurity Center is a member-driven center, with an Industrial Advisory Board made up of interested companies working in energy sector in areas such as electric power, oil and gas, and renewable energy resources. Security system providers and equipment manufacturers also participate.

For more information on SEEDS, contact Shannon Davis, managing director, 479-575-6877. For more information upcoming meetings, contact Karin Alvarado,karina@uark.edu, 479-575-4958.

Contacts

Karin Alvarado, marketing and communications specialist
Electrical Engineering
479-575-4958, karina@uark.edu

Nick DeMoss, director of communications
College of Engineering
479-575-5697, ndemoss@uark.edu

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