Thursday, February 2, 2012

Hayden on Common Security Hiccups in Electric Utilities ... and How to Cure 'Em

It's going to take more than a lozenge to get your utility where it needs to be, security-wise, but this article in SmartGridNews, by former Navy officer and stout energy sector industry veteran Ernie Hayden, gives you some simple ways to get started if you're in the early stages.

First of all, here's his powerful, overarching philosophical restorative:
Why do ... security program weaknesses exist? I suspect it is because security is still a “gotta do” issue rather than a core value.
There's a lot of meaning, and a ton of history in those 23 words. And so where do core values come from? Why the Executive suite, of course. In my military and post-military careers, I've found that leadership by example is the only leadership that really works.

In the second half of this article Ernie proclaims 5 steps to get well. I don't want to just list them here ... they're worth the effort it'll take you to click through, but note that the first is an echo of the quote above:
Support and emphasis by the CEO and key executives. This is first and foremost.
As we noted in the previous post, one of the clearest and simplest indicators of CEO support is the appointment and empowerment of a senior security executive (no need to reinvent the wheel here; let's do what other sectors have done before us and call him/her the CSO).

I think if your utility could swallow that one recommendation you'd feel better (and remedy a swath of security root causes and symptoms) in no time.

Photo credit: ghindo at