More than 6,000 stakeholders participate in NERC grid security exercise

Published on November 20, 2017 by Aaron Martin

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A grid security exercise launched the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) on Wednesday assessed the ability of 6,000 stakeholders across North America to respond to and recover from simulated physical and cyber threats.

The voluntary exercise series, known as GridEx, was launched by NERC in 2011. Held biannually, the exercise enables utilities, governmental entities, and other stakeholders to assess cross-sector impacts, engage local and regional first responders, enhance communications, pinpoint lessons learned and engage organizational leadership.

“The North American bulk power system is among the nation’s most critical and resilient infrastructures,” Charles Berardesco, the acting CEO of NERC, said. “However, the security landscape is dynamic and requires constant vigilance and agility.”

NERC has designed the GridEX IV to overwhelm organizations that have the most stringent security, reliability and resilience measures in place. NERC continuously incorporates feedback from participants into the exercise, and more organizations and government officials have taken part each year.

Berardesco planned to take part in the second day of the exercise, an executive tabletop session. The goal of the session was to look at how senior government and private sector leaders conducted their grid restoration and recovery responses during the simulation.