With the emergence of distributed energy resources, the two-way flow of data and other new technologies, utilities are becoming more efficient and reliable. And as the grid evolves, so do the roles of electric cooperatives in ensuring they are protecting their assets, the flow of power to their communities and employee and member data. NRECA works with government agencies, legislatures and industry groups to ensure policies, laws and regulations reflect the needs of the electric cooperatives throughout these efforts.
NRECA also offers resources and training opportunities specifically designed to provide cooperatives with tools they can use to improve their cybersecurity posture. Through our federally-funded cybersecurity research and partnerships with public and private stakeholders, NRECA creates products and services that meet the unique needs of our members and help them prepare for existing and potential threats to the reliability and security of their cooperative.
This fact sheet outlines electric cooperative priorities for protecting the nation's electric power grid, key government and industry partnerships, current regulatory environment and NRECA positions on cyber and physical security issues.
NRECA communicates with cooperatives through various security-related email groups and listservs. These include the Cybersecurity Task Force (CSTF) and Basecamp blog for G&Ts on NERC cybersecurity standards (contact Bridgette Bourge at Bridgette.Bourge@nreca.coop to join).
The Rural Cooperative Cybersecurity Capabilities Program (RC3) Self-Assessment DIY Toolkit can help cooperatives that are in the early stages of developing a cybersecurity program evaluate their current cybersecurity posture and identify areas for improvement.
The Risk Mitigation Guide provides cooperatives with guidance on how to integrate cybersecurity practices into the acquisition, integration, deployment and maintenance of smart grid components and technologies.
The RC3 Cybersecurity Tabletop Exercise Toolkit helps distribution cooperatives practice responding to a cybersecurity incident by using relevant cybersecurity scenarios with real world implications.
Engagement and Training
- NRECA facilitates cybersecurity training by:
Negotiating free and reduced cost access to EnergySec's Security Education Week;
Offering two free CyberSecure My Business™ training workshops by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA).
Partnering with the Idaho National Laboratory and American Public Power Association (APPA) to provide free access to the DOE's CyberStrike workshop.
Summits and workshops feature presentations from leading cybersecurity experts, opportunities for peer-to-peer learning through breakout sessions, and tours of cutting-edge cybersecurity research facilities.
With funding from the U.S. Department of Defense, NRECA has several research projects underway in cybersecurity, including:
GridState – research to extend the capabilities of NRECA's Essence, a tool to monitor the grid and identify normal or atypical behavior resulting from cyberattacks.
REACT Research – a collaboration between NRECA, N-Dimension Solutions, Inc., Milsoft Utility Solutions and NRTC is studying how to integrate Essence into commercial products and services.
This editorial highlights some of the legal and practical aspects of cybersecurity that electric co-ops may want to consider. It was published in the monthly subscription-based Legal Reporting Service newsletter.
Where does the electric cooperative attorney get started with cybersecurity? This webinar introduces considerations for addressing electric cooperative cybersecurity legal risks.
All of these cybersecurity resources and more are available on our Cybersecurity page. Peruse the featured resources or use the filters on the left side of the page to find the resource most relevant to you.
Stay up to date on cybersecurity developments impacting electric co-ops by receiving NRECA's Business & Technology Update bi-monthly newsletter.
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