IBM will collaborate with George Mason University to research cybersecurity developments in the electric power industry to develop plans for policy and grid management part of IBM’s Shared University Research Award program.
GMU said Wednesday professors specializing in management, engineering, homeland security and public policy will look into cyber matters related to smart grids and report findings to both industry and regulators.
“The evolving threat landscape poised to challenge the electric power generation, transmission and distribution industry and the smart grid will require innovation breakthroughs at every link in the end-to-end supply chain,” said Jane Snowdon, IBM’s U.S. federal chief innovation officer.
Snowdon will work with faculty lead J.P. Auffret, director of the master’s degree programs in technology management and secure information systems at GMU’s School of Management.
“The IT systems and control systems were never meant for that. It’s going to be a vastly different world three, five and 10 years from now for the power companies,” Auffret said.
“Their overall cybersecurity is dependent upon the cybersecurity of even the smallest companies.”
Other team members from IBM will include:
- Peter Allor, security strategist at the Critical Infrastructure Group
- Jeffrey Katz, chief technology officer for Electric and Energy Utilities
- Diana Kelley, an application security strategist.
University professors that will be a part of the team include:
- Kumar Mehta, an associate professor in the School of Management
- Christine Pommerening, a research assistant professor and director of the public policy master’s program in the School of Public Policy
- Angelos Stavrou, an associate professor of computer science in the Volgenau School of Engineering and associate director of the university’s Center for Secure Information Systems
- Mark Troutman, associate director of the university’s Center for Infrastructure Protection and Homeland Security
The joint team will also hold workshops for industry executives, regulators, government agencies and experts on potential steps to take steps for security systems, technology and information management.