Thursday, October 8, 2020

PUC Cybersecurity Awareness Month Highlights Efforts To Safeguard Critical Utility Systems

On October 8, the Public Utility Commission recognized
National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, a collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure that consumers have the resources to stay secure online while increasing national resilience against cyberthreats.

We all play a role in cybersecurity, at home and at work – as emphasized by this year’s national cybersecurity campaign theme: “DO YOUR PART – #BeCyberSmart.”

PUC Chairman Gladys Brown Dutrieuille stressed that everyone plays a role in online safety and emphasized the importance of taking proactive steps to enhance cybersecurity at home – which, for many people, has also become a remote workplace. 

Plus, more families are now involved in remote learning – so the internet connections and devices we all share at home, for entertainment, can now also impact how we work and how we attend school. That makes it even more important for everyone to follow good cybersecurity practices.

The PUC encourages every Pennsylvanian to review educational materials and tips from the U.S. Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and remain vigilant online.

The PUC also has available a booklet-- Cybersecurity Best Practices For Small and Medium Pennsylvania Utilities which was updated in June.

Cyber Threats to Utilities

Chairman Dutrieuille – who also chairs the Critical Infrastructure Committee for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and is a member of NARUC’s new national Task Force on Emergency Preparedness, Recovery and Resiliency – underscored the ongoing work being done by state public utility commissions across the country to address security in the utility sector, evaluate current challenges and target future enhancements.

Our utility systems – including electric, natural gas, water, telecommunications and transportation networks – are keys to keeping our communities safe and productive, which makes them prime targets for bad actors.

Recently, Chairman Dutrieuille joined other national leaders in a podcast discussion about global cyber threats to the utility sector.  

NARUC, in conjunction with the United States Agency for International Development, is working to help other countries strengthen their cyber defenses in the utility sector – and also bring lessons learned back to the United States.


U.S. Cybersecurity Agency Warns Utilities Of Potential Attacks From China, Urges Increase In Protections

Related Article:

-- PUC Approves Lower UGI Utilities Rate Increase Than Requested

[Posted: October 8, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

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