Guardians of the grid

Electric cooperatives recognize the evolving cyber threat landscape that poses disruptions to the nation’s electric grid. As responsible providers of power to consumer-members, co-ops continuously take proactive measures to secure the grid.

Cyber threats, ranging from phishing to compromised passwords, have the potential to disrupt power reliability. That’s why electric co-ops work to stay one step ahead by assessing vulnerabilities, monitoring emerging threats and implementing cybersecurity defense measures. By securing the grid against cyber threats, co-ops ensure a more reliable power supply and reduce the risk of disruptions.

Electric co-ops are implementing multiple cybersecurity strategies to utilize a defense-in-depth approach, emphasizing concern for their communities and the importance of reliability for the members they serve.

Electric co-ops are deploying advanced monitoring and protection systems that analyze network traffic, detect suspicious activity and alert security personnel to threats. Additionally, co-ops regularly practice security audits to identify vulnerabilities, assess risks, and implement necessary updates and patches to safeguard critical infrastructure.

Cybersecurity is a team effort, so electric co-ops regularly engage with other co-ops, industry organizations, government agencies and cybersecurity experts to share best practices, develop lessons learned and stay up to date on the latest threats. This collaboration enables the development of robust cybersecurity measures. Electric co-ops also participate in mutual aid efforts focused on cybersecurity events, such as the Cyber Mutual Assistance Program. By working together, co-ops are stronger and better prepared.

Electric co-ops also understand the importance of educating all employees on the latest cybersecurity issues, which is why co-op staff members are regularly trained on best practices and the significance of adhering to security protocols. By cultivating an internal culture of cybersecurity awareness, co-ops are improving cyber knowledge and skills for employees.

In addition to internal measures, co-ops are establishing dedicated cybersecurity points of contact so that members can easily access individuals to discuss any cyber-related concerns. Co-op members are regularly targeted by energy scammers, whether through false claims or messages sent as emails, or phone scams from people falsely claiming to represent the co-op. By identifying and reporting these incidents, you can help play an important role in keeping the co-op community safe from cyber threats and scams.

Electric co-ops remain committed to providing reliable power to their members. Their top priority is to keep your information secure and your lights on.

Your electric co-op will continue working hard to strengthen the grid, keep data safe and ensure the long-term well-being of the communities they serve. In the face of increasing cyber threats, these proactive measures provide a foundation for a robust and secure electric grid. 

Photo courtesy of NRECA