Feb. 4 Conference in New Orleans Will Focus on Security of Electric Grid

Jan 23, 2019

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WASHINGTON, -- With the nation's reliance on electricity at an all-time high, and threats to the electric grid more serious than ever, Protect Our Power will convene its inaugural best practices conference on Feb. 4with a focus on establishing an ongoing, independent framework to surface and communicate best practices in physical and cybersecurity for the grid.

The full-day conference, "Best Practices – Utility Cybersecurity," will be held on the eve of DistribuTECH, the leading annual electric power transmission and distribution conference and exhibition event that will attract more than 13,000 attendees to the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.

Protect Our Power is an independent, not-for-profit organization seeking to build consensus among key stakeholders to launch a comprehensive effort to make the nation's electric grid more resilient and more resistant to all external threats.

"The ability of the grid to operate under abnormal conditions is critical," said Tom Fanning, the Chairman, President and CEO of Southern Company and Co-Chair of the Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council. "The Protect Our Power conference provides a terrific platform for the industry to focus on the best practices and achieve the resiliency required to protect our American way of life."

Tom Kuhn, President of Edison Electric Institute, said of the conference, "EEI is a strong believer in celebrating and sharing our member companies' best ideas on how to overcome threats and challenges to delivering a reliable supply of electric power. Protect Our Power at its upcoming conference in New Orleans on Best Practices in Utility Cybersecurity offers valuable insight on what is being done today by some to assure a stronger grid. I highly recommend attending this important event."

Rod West, the Group President of Utility Operations at Entergy Corporation, will present the keynote address at the Protect Our Power Conference. Entergy is an integrated energy company that owns and operates regulated and merchant power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of generating capacity. The company's utility business serves nearly three million customers in four states.

"Rod West brings the type of insight and experience necessary to really move the ball forward in the discussion of best practices in protecting the electric grid," Protect Our Power Technical Director Paul Feldman said. "Entergy is an important part of the nation's energy network, and getting his perspective will give our influential audience the perspective it needs to move towards a consensus."

Other featured speakers include:

  • Dale Peterson, Creator and Program Chair of S4 Events; Leader in ICS Security Research; Industry Evangelist
  • Andy Bochman, Senior Cyber & Energy Security Strategist, Idaho National Labs
  • Jason Christopher, SANS Instructor, formerly Senior technical Leader Cybersecurity, EPRI; Technical Lead Cybersecurity, DOE' Technical Lead, FERC
  • Monta Elkins, SANS Instructor, ICS Researcher, author of "Defense Against the Dark Arts"
  • Dave Weinstein, Policy Fellow at New America, Previous U.S. Cyber Command, and New Jersey CIO
  • Andrew Ginter, author of "SCADA Security, What is Broken and How to Fix It"
  • Steven Parker, President, EnergySec

Protect Our Power Executive Director Jim Cunningham said, "We are committed to improving our ability to deter and recover from attacks on our electric system. Our organization's purpose is to work with all stakeholders to develop and promote public policy initiatives that advocate and facilitate the implementation of electric grid improvements to make our electricity infrastructure more resilient."

The registration fee for the event is $195 and includes breakfast, lunch, a post-event reception and great networking opportunities. Attendees of Protect Our Power's Best Practices - Utility Cybersecurity conference will receive a complimentary visitors pass to the DistribuTECH exhibition and will be eligible for a 15 percent discount on the full DistribuTECH conference delegate pass.

For more information on the conference please visit: https://protectourpower.org/bestpracticesconference/

About Protect Our Power:
Protect Our Power (POP) is a not-for-profit organization designed to build a consensus among key stakeholders, decision-makers and public policy influencers to launch a coordinated and adequately funded effort to make the nation's electric grid more resilient and more resistant to all external threats. The national program must also ensure establishment of an enhanced power restoration and recovery component for all grid operations that would include communications protocols to protect the American public. Protect Our Power has a highly-experienced staff and 25-member Advisory Panel representing a broad cross-section of grid-related disciplines. With both 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) status, POP is singularly and uniquely positioned as a non-partisan, unbiased thought leader able to serve as a convening, moderating, action-oriented voice. 

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