NRECA's Rural Cooperative Cybersecurity Capabilities (RC3) Program is designed to support cooperatives as they work to improve the cyber and physical security of their organizations. The RC3 program is funded as a collaborative partnership between NRECA and the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, under Award Number DE-OE0000807.

RC3 is focused on developing tools and resources appropriate for small- and mid-sized cooperatives that lack the resources to employ significant information technology staff. The RC3 program also provides collaboration, education, and training opportunities that are available to all cooperatives. Tools, products, and resources developed in the RC3 program are available to all cooperatives through this website.

The following are some key offerings from the RC3 Program. NRECA frequently will post updates and additional resources here.

RC3 Cybersecurity Summits

As part of the RC3 program, NRECA has been holding a series of free Cybersecurity Summits around the country for members. The more than 200 people who attended the 2017 Summits gave the sessions high marks, appreciating learning about cybersecurity opportunities and challenges, and interacting with co-op peers. For 2018/2019, we are adding optional half-day classes the day prior to the Summits, for an enhanced learning opportunity.

ANY member can attend!

The summits are not highly technical; no cybersecurity experience is necessary. In fact, we encourage cooperative staff from all departments to attend because today, everyone has a role in cybersecurity. Past attendees have held roles in co-op leadership, engineering, operations, telecommunications, finance, economic analysis, member services, procurement, and various other areas.

Classes Added to 2018/2019 Summits

In addition to the full-day summits, we are also offering two optional half-day classes the day before. One class is targeted to those unfamiliar with cybersecurity or who would like a refresher. The other is designed for those with cybersecurity experience, or who may oversee contracting with third-party providers.

Dates, Locations, and Details

Five summits are planned for 2018-2019. Six summits were offered in 2017 and the related materials and presentations are available to members in the archive below:

RC3 Cybersecurity Self-Assessment - ONLINE VERSION NOW AVAILABLE!

The RC3 Self-Assessment tool, developed by NRECA, will help cooperatives understand their cybersecurity posture. Results of the self-assessment can be used by the cooperative to prioritize mitigation actions and develop a cybersecurity action plan for their organizations. More information.

NRECA has worked with Axio Global, Inc. (Axio) to have the RC3 Cybersecurity Self-Assessment on the Axio360 platform. This version provides additional features not feasible in the hardcopy version. More information and link to the application for license to the online version are available in the following documents:

Note: Applicants for the online version will need to submit a letter from their leadership (CEO or Board) in support of their participation.

The RC3 Cybersecurity Self-Assessment DIY Toolkit

Additional resources:

RC3 Tabletop Exercise Toolkit (TTX Toolkit) – NOW AVAILABLE TO MEMBERS!

A tabletop exercise (TTX) for cybersecurity provides a structured opportunity to test an organization's ability to assess and respond to a potentially damaging cyber incident. Through funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, NRECA and cybersecurity consultant Delta Risk, LLC, designed the RC3 Cybersecurity Tabletop Exercise Toolkit (TTX Toolkit) for distribution cooperatives with a range of in-house information technology (IT) and cybersecurity capabilities. The TTX Toolkit offers co-ops opportunities to enhance cybersecurity preparedness by providing relevant scenarios with real world implications. With the TTX Toolkit, cooperatives can run tabletop exercises with staff from different departments in the cooperative, to raise cybersecurity awareness and preparedness, and to emphasize that cybersecurity is everyone's responsibility – not just IT's.


Related Information:

Contact for questions: Adaora Ifebigh, Project Manager R&D Engagements,

RC3 Cybersecurity Learning Opportunities

Creating training and learning opportunities is a key component of the RC3 program, including:

Summits: See above

Creating New Cybersecurity Courses Addressing Co-op Needs: In 2017, the RC3 program offered two new courses at Co-op U. One covered issues associated with managing cybersecurity risk in purchasing decisions, and the second course focused on how to procure and manage cybersecurity vulnerability assessment providers. Additional cybersecurity courses will be offered in 2018 and will be announced on this website.

RC3 SANS Voucher Program for Cybersecurity Training:

Thanks to funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, for a limited time NRECA’s Rural Cooperative Cybersecurity Capabilities (RC3) program is able to offer high-quality cybersecurity online training to electric cooperative employees at no cost. Forty-one (41) cooperatives participated in the initial offering in early 2018 and another thirty-six (36) cooperatives participated in the second round of RC3 SANS Voucher Program. NRECA is now opening an opportunity for a third group to take part in this program. This opportunity is limited in availability and timeframe, and interested cooperatives must submit an application for consideration by June 9th.

Guidebooks and Resources

The RC3 program is developing a series of resources to provide cooperatives guidance in addressing their cybersecurity needs:

  • RC3 Cybersecurity Guidebook Series: Like safety, cybersecurity is a concern for everyone at a cooperative. However, each job role in a co-op may have unique cybersecurity responsibilities. RC3 is developing a series of cybersecurity guidebooks to provide information pertinent to specific job roles within a cooperative. The first guidebook focused on electric cooperative Attorneys is now available. Subsequent guidebooks focusing on Incidence Response, Human Resources, CEOs and Directors, and Engineering and Operations are in development for release in 2020. More information

  • Managed Cybersecurity Service Providers Catalogue: To aid NRECA members that may be looking to outsource cybersecurity work, NRECA worked with the American Public Power Association on a joint project with PreScouter Inc. to develop a catalogue of managed security service providers that offer commercial off-the-shelf solutions. NRECA service and associate members who provide cybersecurity products and services are listed in this report as well.

Improving Cybersecurity Information Sharing in the Co-op Community

Receiving timely alerts on cybersecurity threats and implementing mitigation actions quickly are two key components for protecting cooperatives from cyber incidents. The RC3 program provides training and resources to increase awareness and access to existing organizations that provide threat alerts, and supports research and development projects that will improve the cooperative community's capabilities to respond to threats. In addition, the RC3 program is working to help cooperatives understand what information to share, with whom, and when. NRECA will publish its first case study on cybersecurity information sharing challenges and solutions in spring 2018.

Contact for Questions