- Industry: Energy & Utilities
Naperville’s Department of Public Utilities—Electric (DPU-E) is responsible for serving the 145,000 residents of Naperville, Illinois, along with the city’s high-tech industrial customers. Currently, it can offer broadband service to just a small portion of its overall customer base.
Meeting department of energy requirements.
Naperville is the only municipality in the state of Illinois selected to receive a Smart Grid Investment Grant (SGIG) by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). It was chosen from among more than 500 grant applicants nationwide.
As part of the DOE’s requirements for all SGIG recipients, the utility was required to submit a formal cyber security plan dated within 30 days of grant acceptance. Under the DOE requirements, the plan had to include:
- Detailed identification of system risks and threats
- System interaction diagrams
- A future-focused security posture strategy
- Vulnerability remediation plans
- Assignment of cyber security responsibilities
A valuable partner with a complementary approach.
West Monroe Partners has been involved with Naperville’s smart grid initiatives since the city prepared its initial grant request submission in July 2009. West Monroe Partners assisted with defining the smart grid elements, developing the business case, and creating the grant composition and submission—an effort that resulted in a grant award of $11 million in matching funds to support Naperville’s smart grid initiative.
Based on its experience during the grant application process, Naperville recognized that West Monroe Partners is a valuable partner whose methodologies and strategic approach mesh well with its smart grid vision. Accordingly, the city turned to West Monroe Partners again for assistance with establishing the program management office and managing the program and projects over the course of the three-year grant period. Developing the cyber security plan was one of the critical, time-sensitive deliverables of the DOE’s Grant Award Definitization Period.
West Monroe Partners facilitated an aggressive approach that enabled the city to complete its cyber security plan in accordance with the DOE’s requirements, on time and within budget.
A deep dive into systems integration.
West Monroe Partners orchestrated “deep-dive” working sessions with Naperville DPU-E staff to identify and analyze system interactions, followed by additional sessions to further identify security controls and policies necessary for efficient yet secure utility operations. The project team accessed resources from many distinct business units within the city of Naperville in order to provide a holistic view of the inner workings of the DPU-E’s systems and networks. From these discussions, West Monroe Partners was able to help the utility make administrative control assignments for existing and future systems.
A critical component of this datagathering effort was engaging DPU-E staff to identify system interactions and the method in which they accomplish communications. With the staff’s assistance, West Monroe Partners identified every system and the required technical means of interaction and categorized these properly according to their security capabilities and needs. Along with identifying current security needs, West Monroe Partners also helped the utility determine future-state security requirements and presented these as part of a gap analysis. With mitigation projects clearly identified, Naperville has been able to move forward to eliminate potential vulnerabilities in its technical architecture in compliance with the NIST and the DOE’s requirements for cyber security as it moves into smart grid systems as part of the Naperville Smart Grid Initiative.
Timely submission, insight to guide the next steps.
With the support of West Monroe Partners, the City of Naperville successfully submitted its formal cyber security plan within 30 days of signing its grant recipient contract, as required by the DOE. In addition, the numerous discussions held during the process of generating the cyber security plan revealed additional utility and IT requirements that Naperville is prepared to address as its smart grid initiative moves forward. Above all, the utility’s DPU-E staff gained insight that will be invaluable as they engage vendors and conduct platform selection procedures. West Monroe Partners now is working with the City of Naperville on implementing the solutions outlined in the city’s cyber security plan.