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Cybersecurity Expert from UTC Discusses Vulnerabilities of America's Power Supply

WASHINGTON, Sept. 10, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- 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.

To watch an archived video of the hearing visit: https://science.house.gov/legislation/hearings/examining-vulnerabilities-america-s-power-supply-0

Key Participants in the Hearing Included:

  • Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.)
  • Energy Subcommittee Chairman Randy Weber (R-Texas)
  • Mr. Richard Lordan, Senior Technical Executive, Power Delivery & Utilization Sector, Electric Power Research Institute
  • Ms. Nadya Bartol, Vice President of Industry Affairs and Cybersecurity Strategist, Utilities Telecom Council
  • Dr. Daniel Baker, Distinguished Professor of Planetary & Space Physics; Moog-BRE Endowed Chair of Space Sciences; Director, Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Dr. M. Granger Morgan, Hamerschlag University Professor, Departments of Engineering and Public Policy and of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University

UTC will also host the Utilities Cybersecurity and Supply Chain Risk Management Summit September 17, 2015 in Arlington. For more information: http://www.utc.org/event/utilities-cybersecurity-and-supply-chain-risk-management-summit?page=overview

About UTC

Founded in 1948, the Utilities Telecom Council (UTC) is a global trade association representing the communications and information technology interests of electric, gas and water utilities, pipeline companies and other critical infrastructure. The Council serves as the source and resource for our members to deploy technology and solutions that deliver secure, reliable and affordable mission critical services. With offices around the world, UTC provides information, products and services that help members:

  • Manage their telecommunications and information technology more effectively and efficiently
  • Voice their concerns to legislators and regulators
  • Identify and capitalize on opportunities linked to deregulation worldwide
  • Network with other utility leaders, telecom, technology and IT professionals

Serving the industry for more than 60 years, UTC's Mission is to shape the future of utility mission critical technologies by driving innovation, fostering collaboration and influencing public policy. www.UTC.org

CONTACT: Bobbi Harris, UTC VP Market Strategy & Development Bobbi.Harris@UTC.org 202-833-6828

Source:Utilities Telecom Council