Snohomish County Public Utility District (PUD) and the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) co-hosted the Washington Cybersecurity Summit 2, an invaluable program which brought together more than 100 local, state and national leaders to engage in a dialogue about the current state of cybersecurity.
In addition to the PUD and PNNL, the summit was sponsored by several other organizations: Puget Sound Energy, Tacoma Public Utilities, University of Washington Tacoma and the Washington State Utilities and Transportation Commission.
The second annual summit provided an opportunity to brief congressional staff and government officials about proactive measures within the electric utility industry, including information sharing, training and emergency response planning.
Participants in the summit came to a consensus on several cybersecurity issues. Key lessons learned from the program included:
• Washington needs to formalize its state strategy for cybersecurity.
• The region also has an opportunity to take a lead role in cybersecurity with its high-tech industry, strong military presence, utilities and educational resources.
• Training and exercises, such as GridEx, provide critical experience managing cyber events.
• Utilities and emergency responders have strong emergency operations systems in place as foundations.
• Both the public and private sectors have opportunities to tap cybersecurity students to meet their organizations’ needs and help cyber professionals transition into the workforce.