Utilities in the United States are prime targets for cyber attack. Criminals are hijacking utility information systems and demanding ransom for their release. Nation states and other bad actors are rehearsing ways to interrupt utility services and throw the nation into chaos. Community-owned utilities of all sizes and structures must shore up their cyber defenses. This article presents the top 10 cybersecurity considerations for community utilities and their city departments.
Articles under General
The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season was the busiest on record, with 31 depressions, 30 storms and 13 hurricanes. Fires in the West were devastating, with California suffering its worst year on record. The Midwest has also been inundated with ice storms throughout the year. The overlapping timing and geographic spread of these events, combined with unexpected operational disruptions caused by COVID-19, made 2020 a particularly challenging year to ensure power resiliency in the U.S. With 1,800 managed microgrid systems across the country, PowerSecure provided clean, reliable, and resilient power to commercial and industrial customers during 2020’s unanticipated grid outages.
As reported on the website of the San Luis Valley Rural Electric Cooperative (SLVREC) of Monte Vista, CO, fifteen of SLVREC’s residential members recently took part in a stakeholder engagement process by attending three focus groups. Facilitated by Charise Swanson of Hometown Connections, all meetings were conducted virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The participants were representative of the entire SLVREC service area and included complainants from a 2019 PUC complaint.
When carrier pigeons fell out of favor (a shame, really), the telephone stepped in to take its place. 118 years after the invention of telephone, the first smartphone was released in 1994. And a mere 27 years after its introduction, a record 81% of Americans own a smartphone, with 96% owning a cell phone of some kind.
The City of Piqua, Ohio, is dedicated to providing the highest level of service to its nearly 11,000 electric customers, applying regularly for the designation of Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3) by the American Public Power Association. Being recognized by the RP3 program demonstrates a utility’s commitment to excellence in reliability, safety, workforce development, and system improvement. To ensure best practice compliance within the cybersecurity portion of the RP3 application submitted in September 2020, the Piqua Power System hired the team from Hometown Connections, Inc., to perform a cybersecurity assessment.
Due to recent news coverage of a major cyber penetration of U.S. government agencies and corporations across the globe, cybersecurity is front and center for city governments and their municipal utility departments. Before reaching out to consultants prepared to help evaluate cyber vulnerabilities and design a protection program, each community-owned utility should gather a baseline of information about their cybersecurity status. This outline will help the utility and potential consultants focus more quickly on the issues to be addressed.
Journey mapping. You may have heard that term thrown around at an increasing rate lately. Why? Because like a high school sophomore who just got their drivers license, it’s getting pretty popular.
Read More about Journey Mapping: Dora The Explorer Would Be Jealous »
In 2017, Lakeland Electric made it a strategic priority to provide customers with the knowledge and online tools to understand, manage, and predict their bills. The changes over the following three years created a basis for successfully navigating the coronavirus without the need for a related rate increase in 2021.
Exciting new enhancements make the Apogee customer engagement platform even more beneficial to utilities for customer education, self-service, energy efficiency, customer satisfaction, and operational efficiency.
Now more than ever, it’s imperative for your utility to stay close to your customers. Hometown Connections, the services organization dedicated to enhancing the performance of community-owned utilities, has partnered with GreatBlue Research to create a special offer for you to learn first hand what your customers need and expect. For a low fee, you can send a link to your customers to fill out a brief online survey.