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Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)

CISA and AVANGRID Conduct Virtual Exercise to Improve Emergency Response and Recovery Plans

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)

Original release date: February 23, 2021

WASHINGTON -- Today, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and AVANGRID, a sustainable energy company providing services in 24 states, conducted a virtual tabletop exercise to test and identify the safety procedures AVANGRID has implemented since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and identify additional procedures necessary to ensure employee safety operations and business continuity in the out years.

The tabletop exercise tested short-term and long-term recovery plans, business continuity, internal information sharing and communication plans in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Tuesday's exercise, part of an ongoing collaboration to better prepare for a range of potential incidents, provided CISA and AVANGRID the opportunity to build upon lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Over the last year, government and businesses alike have had to change the way they do just about everything – from employees working remotely to virtual video conferences to restrictions on in-person meetings. Planning for an emergency has had to change as well," said CISA Deputy Executive Assistant Director Scott Breor. "But the best laid plans are useless if you don't test them for weaknesses and find ways to improve them. That's what we did today, and it will make both organizations more resilient going forward."

"Minimizing risk for our people and infrastructure is a top priority for AVANGRID, so teaming up with CISA just made sense," said AVANGRID Vice President and Chief Security Officer Brian Harrell. "Prevention, response and mitigation planning, and exercising those plans, is critical to our business and resilience strategy."

Avangrid Networks owns eight electric and natural gas utilities, serving more than 3.3 million customers in New York and New England. Avangrid Renewables owns and operates a portfolio of renewable energy generation facilities across the United States.

CISA is the nation's risk advisor and works with public and private sector partners to defend against today's threats and build more secure and resilient infrastructure for the future. The agency participates in dozens of exercises a year and has staff strategically located throughout the United States to advise businesses, schools and other organizations of all sizes on ways to enhance their security and resilience. Resources and tools are available on the agency's website through its Hometown Security initiative.

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