WASHINGTON, Sept. 10, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Utilities Telecom Council (UTC) is proud to announce the selection of Michael Meason, Manager, Technical Services from Western Farmers Electric Cooperative (WFEC), as the new chairman of the Security, Risk and Compliance Committee. Meason sees operationalizing security in an environment where reliability is the key metric as one of the primary challenges facing the utility industry. As an industry, utilities are learning how to ensure that operational reliability and effective security can coexist in a sustainable long-term implementation.
"Many of UTC's member utilities are standing up and evolving their security programs. Understanding and applying the best practices in an industry with unique systems and networks that are critical to modern life is an everyday challenge," said Nadya Bartol, UTC's VP of Industry Affairs and Cybersecurity Strategist. "UTC is dedicated to helping its members navigate the ever-changing environment of technology, communications and security. The Security, Risk and Compliance Committee has been the trusted resource for utilities and critical infrastructure organizations, and we look forward to Michael's leadership of the Committee."
"I believe the UTC's Security, Risk and Compliance Committee provides the broader context of security needs throughout our industry. It focuses on our pervasive challenges and provides a unique perspective about how utilities approach significant issues," said Meason. "Additionally, we are seeing operational integration between IT, OT, Security Operations and Physical Security. This integration demands new business processes, management structures and areas of influence that existed in separate silos of traditional utilities or perhaps not at all."
"Chairing the Security, Risk and Compliance committee is an honor," said Meason. "In a short amount of time UTC has transformed their organization to support many emerging areas that are vitally important to the membership which includes cybersecurity. There are so many very bright industry personnel that participate in the committee; it is literally "the place to be" if you are in the utility vertical and interested in cybersecurity. Chairing the committee gives me the chance to engage at a national level and help form the conversation. As a utility person, I can't think of any other forum that affords me that opportunity."
When asked why he chose to participate in UTC, Meason responded, "UTC is a member-driven organization. It is represented by some of the most experienced utility professionals the world has to offer, and those professionals participate out of mutual respect for each other and a genuine concern for the state of our industry and our customers."
Western Farmers Electric Cooperative is a not-for-profit utility serving rural areas in Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Texas. "Rural development is much more than just a noble effort to turn the lights on," said Meason. "Our customers want, and frankly deserve, rock-solid reliability and security that meets all the same requirements as the largest IOUs around the world. It is our job to provide that!"
In existence for over 74 years, Western Farmers Electric Cooperative (WFEC), is a generation and transmission cooperative, headquartered in Anadarko, Oklahoma. WFEC supplies the electrical needs of 18 member cooperatives in Oklahoma, along with Altus Air Force Base, plus four cooperatives in New Mexico, and other power users in Kansas and Texas.
Founded in 1948, the Utilities Telecom Council (UTC) is a global trade association for 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.
CONTACT: Bobbi Harris, UTC VP Market Strategy & Development Bobbi.Harris@UTC.org 202-833-6828
Source:Utilities Telecom Council