Energy

Our nation's energy systems are undergoing historic change. The Center for Identity is committed to increasing the security and protection of identity assets throughout this process, with a focus on data-driven solutions for effective identity management and heightened energy network security.

Changes in energy systems introduce more sophisticated ways to generate and distribute energy from traditional and non-traditional sources alike. New tools increase our ability to collect energy from a wide range of sources, and to distribute energy in more efficient capacities. In time, everyone and everyplace will have the capability to both consume and generate energy. With this increased sophistication of tools comes the need for improved software, hardware, and security practices that can capture and protect massive amounts of confidential identity information.

To achieve this vision, every smart grad will harness an embedded digital information network that collects, stores, and manages energy information at the residential, commercial, and community level. This will grant the ability to measure energy consumption at the levels of commercial building, residence, and even home appliance. But commercial and governmental enterprises assume great responsibility any time that personal and private information is gathered and used by the Smart Grid. Information gathered and stored on energy networks presents an attractive opportunity for cyber thieves to infiltrate the networks and steal the valuable information. Costly and dangerous abuse scenarios include identity theft, energy consumption fraud, illegal energy selling and usage in black markets, disruption of energy flow, and attacks on the critical infrastructure of energy networks.

With the increased digital sophistication of energy networks, research is needed to protect valuable personal and corporate identity information. At the Center for Identity, we seek to answer fundamental questions of energy distribution and identity management to increase security of identity information. For instance, how do we authenticate specific users with access to private energy information? Which identity attributes provide the highest level of security for energy networks? How do energy networks collect, store, and manage the personal identifiable information of their users? Which identity attributes offer the greatest level of protection from cyber thieves?

The Center for Identity seeks to answer these and many other important questions of identity management. We examine current and probable future scenarios that threaten energy grids. We examine the current policies and practices that shape energy security, and we work to protect the identity information housed within the infrastructure of energy networks. By bringing together diverse faculty with a wide scope of expertise, we take a multifaceted approach to identity management. We work to produce actionable research that improves practices, develops evidenced-based policies, enhances training and academic curricula, invents new technologies, and leads the discussion on privacy and security in the energy sector.