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­niversity ­nites Industry, Gov to Tighten Energy Sector Cybersecurity

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A Rice University program created to engage the energy industry and government about protecting power plants from cyberattacks hosted Dale Meyerrose, former CIO for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. University officials also recently heard speeches from security professionals at AT&T and Waste Management, as well as U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, co-chairman of the Commission on Cybersecurity for the 44th Presidency and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee.

Rice computer science professor Dan Wallach created the multiyear program with Chris Bronk, a fellow at Rice's Baker Institute for Public Policy, who used to work at the State Department's Office of eDiplomacy, where he helped launch a wiki that enabled employees around the globe to securely exchange information.

The program is designed to help the industry in its efforts to organize and respond to a cyberattack. Wallach and Bronk plan to develop a private wiki for cybersecurity professionals and policymakers from the energy industry to "collect aggregate knowledge and create an institutional memory that everyone can draw on," Wallach says. They also see the development of policy objectives as a proactive way for the energy sector to engage the government on future regulations.

Wallach and Bronk add that the initiative could serve as a cybersecurity model for other sectors such as health care and transportation.

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