General Manager's Message

Enhancing Cybersecurity

By Chris Meyers - OAEC General Manager March 2022

Protecting the nation’s electric power grid and ensuring an affordable, reliable and secure supply of electricity are top priorities for electric cooperatives. Oklahoma’s rural electric distribution and generation and transmission cooperatives develop expertise in responding to and mitigating potential threats and vulnerabilities. Your co-op works together across the industry and with government agencies to prepare for existing and potential threats to the reliability and security of the electric grid.

The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is landmark legislation that will invest more than $1 trillion into infrastructure projects across the country. Our national organization, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, secured important wins for electric co-ops and, as a result, the law includes significant investment and funding opportunities for cooperatives and the communities they serve.

Included in the legislation are funding opportunities for electric cooperatives to enhance physical and cybersecurity. Grants and technical assistance will be available to deploy advanced cybersecurity technologies for electric utility systems and for cybersecurity threat information sharing programs.

Your co-op uses a defense-in-depth strategy to protect your power. This approach is designed to address a variety of hazards to electric grid operations, including severe earth and space weather, cyber incidents, vandalism and other natural and human-made events.

Unfortunately, the cyber threats to a modernized grid infrastructure are more serious than ever. However, rest assured there is more focus on operational cybersecurity at this time than ever before. Your cooperative is hard at work to reliably generate and deliver power to consumer-owners’ homes and businesses, and any funds received will amplify these efforts for years to come.

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