A2V selected to strengthen Southern Company’s cyber defenses

Published on June 03, 2020 by Chris Galford

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The Atlanta-based Southern Company has partnered with the Asset to Vendor Network for Power Utilities (A2V) as a means of securing its cyber defenses and reducing overall operating and maintenance costs associated with cybersecurity compliance.

For A2V, recently founded by Fortress Information Security and American Electric Power (AEP), the partnership represents its first partner. For Southern, it offers an opportunity at collaboration and access to a library of vendor risk assessments, as well as the ability to share cyber-threat details with other power companies.

“Utilities have a long history of working together to overcome challenges, and securing our mutual supply chain through A2V is just the latest example,” Tom Wilson, vice president and chief information security officer for Southern Company, said. “A2V offers the opportunity for companies to collaborate and help share expertise and best practices.”

The A2V network will, in theory, help utilities throughout the U.S. to share critical information to identify, measure, and mitigate cybersecurity risk. A2V provides its members with current threat details and helps them prepare their networks from wide-scale attacks that could harm the larger grid.

“The utility industry, like no other, is built on the foundation of collaboration. When faced with a challenge, whether it be a natural disaster or an attack on a power grid, the industry comes together,” Alex Santos, co-founder and CEO of Fortress, said. “The A2V Network builds on the industry’s culture of collaboration, enabling it to be more aware, prepared, and secure. We welcome Southern Company and look forward to more utilities joining our national movement.”