Last month, DMEA was the victim of a cyber-attack. On November 7, 2021, we discovered a targeted effort to access portions of our internal network system by an unauthorized third party. This resulted in multiple days of downtime for DMEA's internal network. We could not access or operate certain systems, such as phone, email, and payment processing. It was a confusing and frustrating time, especially for those of you who needed to do business with us. This isn't how we hoped to close out the year, and on behalf of all of us at DMEA, I am grateful for your patience, support, and understanding as we navigate this incident.
After discovering the threat, we took immediate action. We began working with a team of forensic and cybersecurity experts to investigate the scope of the incident and its impact on DMEA and our members. That investigation is still ongoing, which is why I may not answer all your questions in this letter. Here is what we do know today.
- On Sunday, November 7, 2021, DMEA became aware of unauthorized access by a third party to certain portions of our internal network system.
- We immediately began investigating and secured a cybersecurity expert to assess the extent of the incident and identify solutions for restoration.
- Now that we have completed the first few weeks of the investigation, we are highly confident that no sensitive member or employee information was compromised.
- Moving forward, we are committed to investing in any security improvement recommendations that result from our investigation.
- We are also committed to working with our members to ensure the transition back to normal bill payments and processing does not cause hardship during the holiday season. I humbly ask for your continued patience as we work to restore regular operations.
On behalf of DMEA, I am deeply sorry for the worry and inconvenience this event has caused our members and customers. Please be assured, we take the protection of your information very seriously, and we are sparing no effort to prevent future incidents.
It is unfortunate this incident closed the door on what was otherwise a successful year for your cooperative. In 2021, DMEA again experienced significant power supply cost savings with Guzman Energy. That was a major factor in holding rates steady this year, and I'm happy to report there is no rate increase scheduled for 2022 either. We also began developing our first large-scale solar array in Delta County and are set to break ground on the 80-megawatt plant in the summer of 2022.
As I reflect on this holiday season, I offer my gratitude and humility. I am grateful for the confidence and trust you have placed in DMEA over the years, and I believe we will come out stronger in 2022. I am also grateful for my team's hard work over the past few weeks to overcome challenges and find creative solutions to continue serving our communities. Lastly, I continue to be humbled by the DMEA Board of Directors' decision to choose me to lead your cooperative.
I wish you all a Happy Holidays and a peaceful New Year.
Alyssa Clemsen Roberts
Chief Executive Officer, DMEA