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Cybersecurity Expert from UTC Discusses Vulnerabilities in America’s Power Supply

Cybersecurity Expert from UTC Discusses Vulnerabilities in America’s Power Supply

Washington, DC, September 10, 2015 – Utilities Telecom Council (UTC) Vice President of Industry Affairs and Cybersecurity Strategist, Nadya Bartol, testified today before a joint hearing of the House Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Oversight and Subcommittee on Energy regarding the serious concerns that cybersecurity presents with respect to grid vulnerability. UTC believes that this is a complex challenge that requires comprehensive, process-driven solutions. UTC’s Bartol is a trusted cybersecurity expert to utilities and other critical infrastructure providers globally.

“It is important to understand that security is a process and will never be completely resolved. We need to continue making progress and we need to do it smartly,” said Bartol. Relying strictly on technical solutions to solve cybersecurity is insufficient and dangerous because people will always circumvent the technology if they are motivated to do so. “Some grid vulnerabilities are outside of our control such as the external threats, which include individual hackers, activist groups, cyber criminals, and nation states,” noted Bartol in her testimony. “We can mitigate the impact of these threats, but only to a certain extent. However, as a community, we can make a substantial impact on those vulnerabilities that are a lot more within our span of control such as availability of qualified workforce, legacy infrastructure, lack of legal framework for information sharing and evolving practices for assuring security in supplier products and services.”

Cybersecurity risk is now a boardroom topic. Not a single week goes by without a news story about a company or government agency being hacked and millions of personal, customer or otherwise sensitive information exposed. Disruption of critical infrastructure by a cyber-incident is a serious concern for utility executives and technical practitioners. UTC believes that cybersecurity is the 21st century reliability challenge. To help our members address this challenge, we are implementing a comprehensive holistic strategy that provides practical tools and information about handling cybersecurity challenges in a utilities environment.

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