The Future of Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience: A Regional Approach

Mary Landers 2

Mary Landers’ opening remarks during the 2016 National Homeland Security Conference

Today, critical infrastructure (including utility companies) depends more than ever on cyber technology, but small utility companies have limited means of defending against malicious cyber-attacks.  During Cohort 13, Team Cyber developed a reference guide for use by managers at these small utility companies as a means to simplify the complexities involved with establishing and maintaining a cybersecurity program (Download the PDF: Managers Quick Ref Guide for Cyber Security).

In an effort to socialize the team’s work and improve the product’s effectiveness, Brian Kelly, Mary Landers, and Steve Luczynski were selected to present at the 2016 National Homeland Security Conference in Tampa, Florida.  There, they were teamed with subject matter experts from the Department of Homeland Security and the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center on a panel discussion concerning the future evolution of critical infrastructure security and resilience.  To prepare for the conference, this newly formed team leveraged the resident expertise from across their respective federal, state, and local organizations to improve the effectiveness of their individual efforts.

During the panel discussion to an audience of over 120 attendees, the team presented DHS’ regional approach to protecting critical infrastructure, the integration of National Guard units into that approach, and key training techniques used to address the most crucial weaknesses within a majority of cybersecurity programs.  Finally, a case study illustrated the value of combining each aspect of this discussion into a single, comprehensive approach to create an effective cybersecurity program.