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GridEx III Logo(clear border).pngNERC conducted its third sector-wide grid security exercise, GridEx III, in November 2015. The first grid security exercise took place in November 2011. These geographically distributed exercises were designed to execute the electricity sector’s crisis response to simulated coordinated cybersecurity and physical security threats and incidents, to strengthen utilities’ crisis response functions, and to provide input for lessons learned.
The objectives for GridEx III were:
·         Exercise crisis response and recovery
·         Improve communications
·         Identify lessons learned
·         Engage senior leadership
Exercise Construct
GridEx III was made up of a grid-focused operational exercise for participants across North America and a tabletop discussion for executives. The majority of participants took part in the exercise from their place of work over two days and received sequenced email messages that detailed simulated scenario conditions. Based on this information, participants responded with simulated internal and external crisis response and information sharing activities. An exercise control cell, based in the Washington, D.C. area, managed scenario distribution, monitored the exercise and gathered lessons learned.
GridEx III was the largest cyber and physical security exercise of its kind, involving more than 4,400 participants from 364 industry and government organizations in the US, Canada, and Mexico.  The tabletop discussion involved senior leaders from the Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council and US government executives.  Lessons learned from the exercise are available in a public report, below.
More Information
Contact Bill Lawrence, Director, Programs and Engagement, Electricity Information Sharing and Analysis Center.

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