Cybersecurity is everyone’s job at an electric cooperative. But what tasks are particular to your role or department when it comes to defending against cyberattacks?

NRECA is developing a series of guidebooks to help answer that question.

“These guidebooks will assist co-op staff to appreciate their unique role in protecting their co-op,” said Cynthia Hsu, NRECA cybersecurity program manager.

NRECA’s Rural Cooperative Cybersecurity Capabilities (RC3) Program is crafting the guidebooks to serve co-op general managers and CEOs, attorneys, chief financial officers, engineers/operations personnel, human resource professionals and incident response teams.

The guidebooks will be rolled out and made available to NRECA members on throughout 2020.

“Co-ops will be able to use these guidebooks to get practical tips and templates to help them manage cybersecurity risk and to ensure that cybersecurity considerations play a prominent role in key discussions and decisions across the cooperative,” Hsu said.

Nick Pascale, NRECA assistant general counsel, introduced the RC3 Cybersecurity Legal Guidebook for co-op attorneys at the G&T Legal Seminar in November.

Co-op attorneys well-versed in the liability of a cyberattack know how to protect against those risks and help build an effective response to an attack even during times of crisis, he said. Cyber risks include disruption of co-op business and operations, litigation, compromised data and potential reputational harm.

“Cybersecurity is an enterprise-wide risk for electric cooperatives. Electric co-op attorneys—in-house and outside counsel—and leadership should be aware of cybersecurity issues,” Pascale said.

“Everyone has a role to play, including the attorneys, in developing a culture of security. These guidebooks will be an excellent place to start.”

Explore NRECA's resources on cybersecurity.