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NorthWestern says grid is secure despite latest cyber threat

January 3, 2017View for printing

Just before the weekend arrived, a power utility in Vermont found that hackers had penetrated a computer by placing malware on the device - a discovery that sounded the alarm at utilities across the country.

While it remains unknown how widespread the attack was or if Russia was behind it, authorities believe the hackers were looking to identify and access vulnerabilities in the nation's electrical grid by accessing small, rural utilities.

For NorthWestern Energy, that evolving cyber threat is both real and costly, forcing the utility to comply with changing federal regulations as the nation looks to harden its defenses against bad state actors.

"We're as protected as we possibly can be. It's something we talk about as a company nearly every day. (Hackers) are trying to find the weak spot, and sometimes it's the person. It's part of our daily focus."

By Martin Kidston

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