Harrisonville staff who attended the June 9 workshop in Columbia were among 42 representatives attending from 24 Alliance-member cities and utilities. The workshop was one of 14 regional cybersecurity workshops nationwide, sponsored by the American Public Power Association (APPA) and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.
“The workshop was filled with information about very real threats and concerns,” said Duncan Kincheloe, President and General Manager of the Missouri Public Utility Alliance. “Participants left with issues to consider for timely action in their local systems, or to discuss with other community leaders.”
Participants in the workshop joined in exercises and discussions to strengthen security of utility computer systems and critical infrastructure. Information was shared to help participants evaluate cyber threats and response measures, and discuss cyber resiliency and physical solutions, including advanced controls.
The second part of the workshop was an orientation to a Cyber Mutual Assistance program created by Homeland Security’s Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council (ESCC). Mutual assistance, used by utilities to recover more quickly from natural disasters, can also be used to address cyber threats for utilities of all sizes.
About MPUA: The Missouri Public Utility Alliance is a multi-state association of more than 110 city-owned electric, water, gas, wastewater, and broadband utilities in Missouri, Illinois, Arkansas, and Kansas. MPUA provides support to its members in the areas of electric and natural gas supply, water and wastewater compliance, mutual aid disaster assistance, financing, safety training, and utility operations. MPUA also advocates on behalf of municipalities on utility issues at the national and state levels.