“This is an exercise” could be heard throughout Entergy Nov. 15-16 as more than 150 employees participated in the industry’s biennial security and incident response exercise, GridEx IV.
GridEx IV is a two-day exercise conducted by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation where more than 400 organizations with more than 6,000 participants from across the industry and government respond to simulated coordinated cyber and physical attacks that damage the bulk power system and cause widespread outages.
“Our participation in this exercise will allow us to test and strengthen our emergency procedures and processes while finding opportunities to improve our response so that we can continue to execute on our promise to deliver power and gas safely and reliably for the benefit of our customers,” said Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Paul Hinnenkamp, who participated in the exercise.
Entergy CEO Leo Denault (left) discussing GridEx IV with Director of Incident Response Louis Dabdoub (right).
Throughout the two-day exercise, Entergy employees in transmission, system planning, the utility and power generation responded to what some would say would far surpass your worst day at the office, with participation from employees in corporate support functions, information technology, physical and cyber security, federal and governmental affairs, incident response, safety, customer support and communications. The simulated events included coordinated physical attacks on Entergy assets, outages for more than 400,000 customers in one service area, a loss of communications and business systems misinformation and more.
“Our team responded with full engagement and exercised our plans, thinking through the best way to handle each situation that came their way,” said Director of Incident Response Louis Dabdoub. “The work done by Maurice Rieffel and the other members of our planning team months ahead of the exercise really paid off. I am confident we will be able to tackle the lessons learned from this exercise to further strengthen Entergy’s response.”
Director of Incident Response Louis Dabdoub reviewing details on GridEx.
For several months before the exercise a group of 42 employees, led by Incident Response Manger Maurice Rieffel, worked to make the scenario as real as possible by developing the various injects the players would receive throughout the exercise.
While the exercise may be over, the work still continues as the groups who participated capture their lessons learned and work to improve our process and Entergy’s overall ability to successfully respond to events that may affect our energy infrastructure.
See other coverage of the event from industry partners and government organizations.