Cybersecurity — September 2019 CEO Column

Daniel Carlisle

Security on all fronts is a top priority at Todd-Wadena Electric Cooperative. One of the areas I would like to focus on this month is cybersecurity.

Each October is officially designated as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. By raising awareness and implementing cybersecurity practices, we are working to combat cyber threats to protect our members, employees, and our cooperative infrastructure. As the energy sector continues to be a target for cyber attacks, I want our members to know we take our role in managing cybersecurity threats to our members’ data and our operations seriously.

To keep cybersecurity front of mind for our employees, we utilize KnowBe4 – a security awareness training program combined with simulated phishing attacks. We use this platform to train employees to learn which red flags to look for and how to keep themselves and our network protected. Topics are kept relevant, which is critically important with the nature of cyber attacks always changing. 

Social engineering is another threat we prepare for. This involves manipulating or deceiving someone in order to gain control of a computer or learn private information. The attack can come via phone, email, mail, or direct contact. We are aware of this threat and have processes in place to confirm the identity of anyone who contacts us requesting information. 

As a cooperative, we also keep our anti-virus software and firewalls updated with the latest patches and firmwares. We share cybersecurity resources and information with other co-ops to help build stronger cybersecurity programs and mitigate potential threats and vulnerabilities.

TWEC remains cyber aware through:

  • Implementing rigorous security standards and technology to protect systems
  • Forging close partnerships to protect our systems
  • Engaging in active information sharing about threats and vulnerabilities

By increasing awareness and enhancing understanding of basic cybersecurity practices, we can all work together to combat cyber threats.

Stay safe and enjoy the beautiful fall weather!