When Minnesota’s 2021 Electric Cooperative Youth Tour was canceled, we took the opportunity to create our own cooperative experience, which we called COOPx. Read more.
When the lights go out, so do we. Take a look at the 5 steps it takes to restore your power. Remember to contact ECE if your phone number changes so we can communicate faster and easier.
The power of proactivity
Our IT department works hard to keep employee and member data secure. To provide reliable energy, we must balance co-op needs while mitigating cyber threats.
“Ransomware has been in the news recently,” explains Josh Jore, IT Manager. “As a malicious program that encrypts all useful files, ransomware renders the computer and its information unusable.
To access files, a special data key from the thieves must be obtained—typically by paying a ransom fee.”
To combat cyber threats, our IT department takes a multi-layered approach:
We utilize an antivirus product that detects and stops ransomware files from being encrypted.
Multifactor authentication is required for all employees accessing data on our network.
Member financial data is stored securely in a location not accessible from our network. Member credentials are stored using a one-way hash function, and sensitive information is encrypted.
Our servers send logs in real time to a company that analyzes the data and alerts the IT department of anomalies.
We have a fully functioning disaster recovery site, in the event of data loss or another catastrophic IT event. We also use backups for important member data and software services. If a cybercriminal were to delete our regular backups, we could still restore important data.
Josh adds, “Chances are, there will always be thieves targeting member data. Complacency is the easiest way to become vulnerable to cyberattacks. By continually evaluating our systems and practices, we can utilize the latest technology to protect the co-op and our members from cyber threats.”
When you contact us about your account, you’ll be asked to verify your social security number or birthdate for proper identification. For others (including a spouse) to access account information, the primary account holder must make special arrangements by contacting us at 1-800-254-7944.
Safety is everyone’s responsibility at ECE and we view it as a way of life. As the CEO, I’m tasked with developing a culture of transparency, trust, and openness in partnership with the leaders of our organization. Read more.