Journalist Ted Koppel has written a book called “Lights Out,” on the consequences of a major cybersecurity event and his views about the country’s lack of preparedness for it.

To learn more about the book, here’s the first paragraph from the website:

“In this tour de force of investigative reporting, Ted Koppel reveals that a major cyber attack on America’s power grid is not only possible but likely, that it would be devastating, and that the United States is shockingly unprepared. Imagine a blackout lasting not days, but weeks or months….”

Some electric co-ops have received calls from members asking about the book, so to help answer questions, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) has issued the following refresher on its position and actions on cybersecurity:

  • Like Mr. Koppel, electric co-ops take cybersecurity seriously; they have and will continue to take significant steps to protect the reliability and security of the electric system – transmission, generation and distribution.
  • Co-ops are advocating passage of federal legislation to strengthen cybersecurity and information sharing between and among the federal government and utilities that is vital to protecting our critical infrastructure.
  • Thanks to a grant from the Department of Energy (DOE), NRECA is developing an advanced cybersecurity management tool that will be accessible to small, remote utilities.
  • Electric co-ops are partnering with federal agencies, including the DOE and Homeland Security, to research threats, strengthen security measures and mitigate risk.
  • Electric co-ops devote significant resources to preventing outages, and are continually improving response and recovery procedures for when outages do occur, regardless of the cause.
  • Electric utilities, including co-ops, that own and operate critical infrastructure assets follow mandatory cybersecurity standards that are subject to fines by regulatory agencies of up to $1 million per day, per violation.