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New Study to Investigate Use of Open Source Software for Securing the Energy Industry

by OSUOSL Admin on Sun, Aug 07 2011

Energy Sector Security Consortium and the Oregon State University Open Source Lab Partner to Establish Effective and Inclusive Collaboration and Governance Models


CORVALLIS, Oregon - The Energy Sector Security Consortium (EnergySec) and Oregon State University’s Open Source Lab (OSUOSL) announced today that they will partner to perform strategic research on the current use of open source software in the energy sector, especially as it relates to computer security. OSUOSL will perform case studies looking at leading and influential organizations or projects, the tools they use and the challenges these groups have faced in adopting open source software.

“We are excited to be working with Oregon State University’s Open Source Lab on this project.” said Steven Parker, Vice President of Technology Research and Projects for EnergySec. “With their earned reputation as a trusted, independent institution with expertise in open source software, we expect their findings will provide us with objective information regarding the use of open source technology in the energy community. This will allow us to better inform and serve our member organizations.”

The project is designed to provide EnergySec with baseline data on the use of open source software in the energy sector, especially within the area of cybersecurity, and to produce an inventory of the experienced companies and groups in this space. The aim is to build up a significant body of knowledge regarding how and why energy companies and groups participate in open source, both as users and as contributors.

“It is exciting for us to extend our research agenda and explore how open source software may offer new and exciting solutions to this vital sector” stated Curt Pederson, OSUOSL director. Pederson, whose early career included work in the energy industry, will guide the project team as it also explores ways to use open source practices to build a more cohesive community for solving the energy industry’s shared challenges.

The studies are funded through the National Electric Sector Cybersecurity Organization, an EnergySec program partially funded by the Department of Energy and will be conducted over the next ten weeks with findings to be published this Fall. Organizations interested in participating may email Deborah Bryant, OSUOSL Principal Investigator, at energystudy@osuosl.org. More information on the project is available on the study website at http://energystudy.osuosl.org.

About Energy Sector Security Consortium

The Energy Sector Security Consortium is a private forum of information security, physical security, audit, disaster recovery and business continuity professionals from energy industry asset owners. Participation is national, including all regions through North America, with members from most states and provinces. In addition to its primary website, the group hosts a secure information exchange portal and meets on a regular basis to discuss current security issues, events, tactics and strategies relevant to the energy sector. EnergySec is incorporated as a non-profit organization and is a registered 501(c)(3) public charity. For more information, visit http://www.energysec.org.

About Oregon State University Open Source Lab

The Oregon State University Open Source Lab is the home of growing, high-impact open source communities. Its world-class hosting services enable the Linux operating system, Apache web server, the Drupal content management system and more than 50 other leading open source software projects to collaborate with contributors and distribute software to millions of users globally. Through custom software development, vendor partnerships and industry events like the Government Open Source Conference (GOSCON), the Lab's staff and students encourage open source adoption in education, government, health care and other sectors. For more information, visit http://osuosl.org.


The National Electric Sector Cybersecurity Organization (or NESCO) is the first public-private partnership of its kind in the electric sector. NESCO serves as a focal point bringing together utilities, federal agencies, regulators, researchers, and academics. This group, along with domestic and international experts, developers, and users help to focus cybersecurity research and development priorities, to identify and disseminate effective common practices, and organize the collection, analysis and dissemination of infrastructure vulnerabilities and threats. NESCO works to identify and support efforts to enhance cybersecurity of the electric infrastructure. This program is being partially funded by the Department of Energy.

Media Contacts

Stacy Bresler, Vice President of Vendor and Industry Outreach, EnergySec, 503-789-5515

Leslie Hawthorn, Outreach Manager, OSU Open Source Lab, 408-480-2918