November 9, 2017
PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota is one of five states selected to participate in a nationwide effort designed to protect electrical grids and other critical infrastructure from cyber and physical attacks.
Other states participating are Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts and Wisconsin. The states were selected by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center).
Representatives of the five states meet in January to review the lessons learned from the GridEx IV exercise, being held later this month. It is a biennial exercise, hosted by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC). The exercise is designed to simulate a cyber/physical attack on electric and other critical infrastructures across North America.
The project’s goal is to help states improve their ability to respond and recover from such attacks. At the meeting in January, the states and others will look at what happened during the grid exercise, identify possible solutions and recommend action steps. NGA will share that information with other states.
South Dakota public and private entities have met multiple times this year in an effort to strengthen the state’s cybersecurity systems. Officials of governmental entities, telecommunications industry and electrical utilities have discussed how to share resources and information in a cooperative way to increase cybersecurity for some of the critical infrastructure in South Dakota.
“We know the threat of cyberattacks is real. This upcoming NGA Center workshop is another way for our state to prepare for this possibility,” says Gov. Dennis Daugaard. “I know the South Dakota team will come back with some good ideas that we can implement into our own protection strategy.”
The South Dakota Department of Public Safety will be the lead state government agency for the South Dakota team.