The Energy Sector Cybersecurity Working Group, an ad hoc group composed of public and private sector individuals in Washington state, has released the “Cybersecurity Guide for Critical Infrastructure for the State of Washington.” This group recognizes the need to strengthen the barriers against cyber threats, particularly as they pertain to the protection and safety of our critical infrastructure, and has acknowledged that many infrastructure owners and operators have limited resources and expertise to strengthen their cyber security protections.
The cybersecurity guide was developed to position and strengthen Washington state as a center of cyber excellence and is the direct result of several regional meetings on cybersecurity – including two major Cyber Security Summits that were sponsored by Snohomish Public Utility District (Snohomish PUD), Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), and others, over the past two years. These Cyber Summits have included participation from leaders in the White House, Executive Branch agencies, state agencies, and regional cyber thought leaders from around the region to discuss and address cyber policy and how critical infrastructure entities can, and should, position themselves to defend against cyberattacks.
The “Cybersecurity Guide for Critical Infrastructure for the State of Washington” provides guidelines, best cyber practices, and tools that can be referenced and used by the IT departments, and the senior leadership, of critical infrastructure entities throughout the state.
“It's critical that we work together to protect our critical infrastructure from cyberattack,” said Governor Jay Inslee. “I want to thank the leaders and cybersecurity experts who contributed to this Cybersecurity Guide.”
“As cyberattacks become increasingly sophisticated, we must be prepared to protect our state's economic and security interests accordingly,” Senator Patty Murray said. “I'm pleased to see leadership take shape on this issue, and I applaud the preventive steps being taken to keep Washington state families and businesses safe.”
“It is critical we address the persistent and ever-evolving threat of cyberattacks,” said Senator Maria Cantwell, ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “In 2013, 56 percent of cyber incidents were directed at critical energy infrastructure. Washington is leading the nation in cyber preparedness; the guide by the Energy Sector Cybersecurity Working Group is an important component of a cyber strategy, and others should take note.”
This collaborative group and effort was composed of staff from the Washington State Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC), the Washington State National Guard, Washington State Emergency Management Division, State of Washington Office of the Chief Information Officer, the PNNL, Snohomish County PUD, and Bridge Partners. The guide can be found here.