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Security and Resilience (Cyber and Physical)

Public Power Officials Participate in DOE Cybersecurity Training Event

Officials from public power utilities and the American Public Power Association recently participated in a Department of Energy event led by security experts from DOE National Labs who offer hands-on training in areas of operational technology, incident coordination, malware analysis and more.

DOE provided several slots at the DOE CyberFire event for public power and coperatives, sponsored by DOE’s Office of the Chief Information Officer, in coordination with DOE’s National Labs.

“The CyberFire training was incredible,” said Jason Peterson, Director of IT and Broadband Services at Carthage Water & Electric Plant, a Missouri public power utility.

“Having been in the industry for over 20 years, I was skeptical about whether the training would be worthwhile. I was blown away,” he said.

“I attended the Operational Technology course which included engaging lectures and team exercises that helped me better understand our OT infrastructure from the perspective of a hacker. The training inspired new approaches to protecting our utility from cyber-attack.” 

He noted that CyberFire provides several courses to choose from ranging from beginner to expert and everything in between. “The week concludes with a competition that combines all attendees from various courses to share knowledge and collaborate to complete challenges. It’s one of the most engaging training events I’ve attended,” Peterson said.

“The 2023 CyberFire event I attended was excellent,” another public power utility official said. “It gave me the opportunity to refresh some skills that I haven’t used in many years, taught me some new skills, and allowed me to network with some very intelligent people.” 

APPA Cybersecurity Manager, Adrian McNamara, also attended the event and participated in one of several training sessions. And APPA will continue keeping members in the loop on future possible opportunities for training.

DOE’s Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER) provided the funding to allow APPA staff and members to attend. 

The next Cyber Fire in-person event will be held April 22-26 in Knoxville, TN.