Welcome to the Protect Our Power Blog On Electric Grid Cybersecurity

By Jim Cunningham, executive director, Protect Our Power

As Protect Our Power (POP) begins its fourth year of education and advocacy efforts focused on helping make the U.S. electric grid more resilient, we find our mission and the need for prompt action more urgent than ever. Reports from our nation’s intelligence agencies and other informed, independent experts have been telling us for the past three years that we must address this issue.


We firmly believe that the sharing of factual, actionable information plays a major role in building a more resilient electric grid. It defines what needs to get done, identifies how best to do it properly, and it brings a focus to an issue in desperate need for urgent action. To advance that belief, we are launching the POP Blog, which will publish at least weekly and bring to readers a variety of timely, topical and informative ideas and opinions on what needs to be done to strengthen the grid.

The blog will appear on our website — www.protectourpower.org —and will also be promoted through our social media channels. It will feature posts from members of the POP team as well as members of our Advisory Panel. We hope you’ll read and follow the postings, and let us know your thoughts.

Protect Our Power (POP) is an independent, not-for-profit organization committed to bringing a sense of urgency and focus to developing and implementing solutions needed to make our electric grid more secure and resilient. We act as an impartial, unbiased catalyst, working with industry, regulators, legislators and other stakeholders to define necessary actions, and to advance projects that ensure those activities are accomplished promptly. Importantly, we are working collaboratively with stakeholders to identify funding models to pay for needed improvements.

We have a lean but highly experienced staff that served in senior leadership roles in the utility and regulatory sectors, and a 25-member, all-volunteer Advisory Panel that represents a broad cross-section of grid-related disciplines, including utilities, government, regulatory and emergency response entities, as well as the military, finance, insurance, renewables and academia. Our team’s credibility and experience enable us to communicate directly with senior-level executives in the electric power industry, government agencies and stakeholder organizations. We have the independence and expertise to cut across existing boundaries and biases between competing or conflicting entities to offer practical and often innovative solutions to the complex and ever-evolving threats to our nation’s power grid.

POP has five major goals that we will be discussing, illustrating or emphasizing in our blog pieces:

  1. Driving an industry-wide transition to adoption of Best Practices as the most productive, timely way to mitigate ever-evolving threats and the best way to build a culture of resilience within the power industry.
  2. Accelerating creation of a supply chain quality control protocol for the utility industry to ensure the integrity of hardware and software used in grid operations.
  3. Promoting more uniform state regulation of utility companies by continuing our work with Vermont Law School, NGA and NARUC to develop guidance for states, consistent with federal regulations, to improve regulatory oversight of utility grid investments and cyber defense programs.
  4. Developing and recommending a practical approach to providing the resources (capital and expertise) needed for a timely, effective and comprehensive program to improve grid resiliency.
  5. Initiating efforts that will produce a clear, meaningful assessment of the potential liabilities and responsibilities arising from a successful cyber-attack.

Please bookmark our blog, follow Protect Our Power, and let us know what you think about the critical issues involved in efforts to make the U.S. electric grid more secure and resilient.

Jim Cunningham

Author Bio