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MARCH-APRIL 2024 Archive

Brian Harrell Interview

Driven to Protect

| Curtis Marquardt |
If you were to Google the term “utility security expert,” a name that appears at the top of the list is Brian Harrell—and for good reason. Harrell has the distinguished honor of having served in key security leadership roles in both the public and private sectors. Currently, Harrell oversees physical security, cybersecurity, privacy, intelligence and […]
Water Lock

Threats on the Horizon: The Challenges of Securing the Nation’s Water Utilities and the Strategies to Overcome Them

As I sat down to write this article, the town of Flint, Michigan, popped into my head. For anybody who works in the water sector, the mere mention of Flint is likely to spark mental images of a water crisis, national news coverage, footage of angry citizens, and a glimpse into what the fallout from […]
Jim Willis Article Art

Are Assumptions Compromising Your Substation Security?

How many substation security or protection articles have you started reading, assuming the subject was one thing, only to discover it was something else? The problem stems from the fact that there are multiple definitions for substation security and protection: one digital/data, one electrical and another physical. When utility professionals hear “substation protection,” many immediately […]

The Emerging Cybersecurity Threats and Solutions of Artificial Intelligence (And Some Resources to Help Ready You for Both)

| Curtis Marquardt |
As artificial intelligence solutions continue to grow into the pop culture lexicon, many envision this technology as the beginning of a dystopian nightmare that ends with us cowering away from the red glowing eye of an Arnold Schwarzenegger-skinned robot. But while the threats of a doomed Terminator-esque fate loom in the imaginations of some, others […]

Are You Prepared for the Next Attack?

| Darin Dillon |
Do you believe the energy sector has become a critical watchpoint because of its unprecedented constant attacks? You’re not the only one. More than 700 documented attacks from 2010 to 2020, ranging from cyber to physical to natural hazards, serve as real-life reminders that leaders in the utility space must remain focused on how best […]

5 Questions with Bomb Threat Expert Sean Haglund

We sat down with Sean Haglund, who serves as the Associate Director for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s Office for Bombing Prevention (CISA OBP) at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). CISA OBP leads DHS’ efforts to enhance national security by building public and private capabilities to deter, prevent and respond to bombing incidents. […]

Are You Ready for a Drone Attack on Your Infrastructure?

In July 2020, someone fitted a DJI drone with two long ropes; both ropes had a long copper wire tied to the end of it. That person then attempted to fly the drone into a substation in Pennsylvania. Through luck or perhaps operator error, the drone never reached the substation, instead crashing onto the roof […]

The Safety and Security Paradox

In this inaugural issue of Utility Security magazine, I felt the best place to start this column was with a foundational understanding from which we can build later. Let’s begin with a discussion of the paradox between safety and security. Many people see safety and security through the same lens and use the words interchangeably, […]

From the Battle of Fallujah to Helping Utilities Respond to Active Shooter Incidents

Utility Security Magazine: Tell our readers more about how you got into active shooter response training and what made you passionate about it. Jake Edwards: It really started for me right after 9/11. After that attack happened, I joined the Marine Corps and was deployed to Iraq. I was in the Second Battle of Fallujah, […]

What is More Critical than Utilities?

| Curtis Marquardt |
“Why launch a utility security magazine?” is a question I’ve heard a few times as we’ve worked over the past year to launch Utility Security. And my best response to that question is to ask this: When you hear the words “Flint, Michigan,” what is the first thing that comes to mind? I would bet […]

New 2023 Products to Watch

| Kate Wade |
Youngstown FR Fleece Ground Glove (Booth S3159) Youngstown’s FR Fleece Ground Glove is a durable and dexterous winter glove designed for cool and cold weather use. It is not designed for freezing temperatures but for the more common cold experienced throughout most of the U.S. in the winter months. By targeting cold but not freezing […]