The North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC) plans to conduct a large-scale grid security exercise later this year that will involve bulk North American power system owners and operators.

The cybersecurity incident readiness exercise, called GridEx 2011, is scheduled for November 15-17. It will test NERC’s and the electricity industry’s crisis response plans, and validate current readiness in response to a cyber incident, NERC said on Tuesday. The exercise also will serve as an opportunity to enhance collaboration and strengthen industry security processes and capabilities.

“GridEx 2011 will involve bulk power system owners and operators from across North America,” said Mark Weatherford, chief security officer for NERC. “This large-scale security exercise will continue our forward momentum in securing the grid by allowing NERC and the industry to identify any gaps and to better focus our resources.”

The NERC exercise, modeled after the Department of Homeland Security’s Cyber Storm exercise series, will allow participants to respond to scenario events as they would in the case of a real-time incident. This will enable participants and leadership to assess, test, and validate existing crisis response plans, NERC said.

Source: NERC