February 27, 2020

Cyber Security Offerings Featured at National Joint Action Conference

Technology Suite

Cyber security remains a top concern for electric utilities. Joint action agencies nationwide are continuously evaluating how to best support member utilities in this critical area. Member utilities of WPPI Energy are relying on the organization to help them stay safe in the cyber world.

When the American Public Power Association, which represents more than 2,000 public power utilities across the U.S., hosted its 2020 Joint Action Conference, it was no surprise to see cyber security a prominent topic. WPPI Chief Information Officer Phil Hansen was a featured speaker at the event.

Before cyber was a buzzword.

Hansen delivered an overview of WPPI’s approach to cyber security, highlighting how member utilities have long recognized the importance of protecting electric systems from cyber-attacks and for many years have benefited from access to various protections through WPPI’s technology services. Hansen stated, “WPPI was working with members to build shared strength in this area before ‘cyber’ became a buzzword.”

An evolving issue.

The concept of cyber security was first introduced to member utilities in 1996, via a secure email service designed to modernize member utilities’ communications while simultaneously keeping safety in mind. Today, that approach to cyber security has evolved into an entire suite of options in which utilities now have access to both a comprehensive Network Assessment and Monitoring Service and a focused Cyber Security Service that delivers specialized information and multiple layers of protection.

“Just tell me I’m safe.”

Hansen shared WPPI’s practical perspective on helping member utilities understand and navigate cyber risks and the costs and benefits of reducing those risks. He summarized, “WPPI’s approach is to cost-effectively lessen the burden for member utilities who say, ‘Just tell me I’m safe.’”

Due to changing technology and the continued development of new systems, additional vulnerabilities will arise. WPPI’s offerings will continue to evolve with member needs and risks. By providing cost-effective, flexible services, WPPI will meet interested members’ current needs, knowing there are no static solutions.

A comprehensive approach to reducing the risk of a cyber-attack is just one of the many benefits that member utilities receive by joining together to accomplish issues that would be difficult to tackle alone.