NRECA unveiled a second set of 10 cybersecurity goals for electric cooperatives at the 2024 Co-op Cyber Tech Conference, where 81 co-ops were recognized for achieving the first 10 goals in this voluntary program that has attracted participation from nearly 400 co-ops.

“NRECA member participation in the Co-op Cyber Goals Program underscores to both industry and government that co-ops of every size across the country are being proactive about cybersecurity,” said Carter Manucy, NRECA director of cybersecurity. “After a successful first year, the program is offering more opportunities for co-ops to advance their cybersecurity postures in 2024.”

A total of 101 co-ops have fulfilled the Level One goals since the program was launched in January 2023. The co-ops who completed the goals between May 31, 2023, and May 31, 2024, were recognized and congratulated at the conference. Last year, 20 co-ops were recognized at Co-op Cyber Tech for the achievement. All co-ops that complete a level of goals receive a commemorative coin and a digital badge for their website and social media.

Level Two cyber goals are:

Goal 11: Create and maintain separate user accounts and permissions.

Goal 12: Create an asset inventory and establish a plan to update it regularly.

Goal 13: Collect log files and review them regularly.

Goal 14: Secure, control and manage internet-facing systems.

Goal 15: Establish and test a business continuity plan.

Goal 16: Participate in cybersecurity information sharing forums and promote collaboration.

Goal 17: Incorporate endpoint security into your cybersecurity program.

Goal 18: Use unique passwords for all accounts.

Goal 19: Document your network topology and update it regularly.

Goal 20: Prohibit connection of unauthorized devices.

“The Level Two cyber goals build on our cybersecurity program to give cooperatives strategic guidance and foster a culture of continuous improvement,” said Manucy. “These goals align with nationally recognized frameworks, standards and goals to provide a structured approach to identifying and mitigating cyber risks.”

NRECA encourages all co-ops to participate and complete the Co-op Cyber Goals. Manucy emphasized that the goals can be completed in any order and are adaptable to each co-op’s specific situation and cybersecurity maturity.

“We focus on supporting each other in advancing cybersecurity,” he said. “We ask co-ops who complete the goals to complete surveys to understand their approach and resources used and share that information to help others. We are all stronger together.”