The Hon. Tom Ridge, Top Energy and Utilities Executives Lead Annual Symposium: "Cyber Security Threats in the Energy & Utility Industries"

The Hon. Tom Ridge, Top Energy and Utilities Executives Lead Annual Symposium: "Cyber Security Threats in the Energy & Utility Industries"
May 29, 2014

The Hon. Thomas Ridge, the first Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and former Governor of Pennsylvania, delivered the keynote address at the firm’s 8th Annual Energy & Utility Symposium on May 29, 2014 to a full house of energy and utilities CEOs and leading professionals.

The theme of the symposium was “Cybersecurity and the Energy & Utilities Industries.” 

During his address, Gov. Ridge emphasized resiliency, a culture shift in understanding, and the knowledge that the digital world has subjected everyone to a “certain vulnerability.”

“Is it a clear danger? Is it permanent? Can we manage it? Yes. Yes. And Yes,” Gov. Ridge said emphatically

U.S. Rep. Patrick Meehan, R, 7th Congressional District and the Chair of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Government Reform, also addressed the audience, noting that cybersecurity is a risk that did not exist 25 years ago. It is a risk that requires collaboration and communication among the public and private sectors.

When determining priorities, Rep. Meehan said the goal of his Subcommittee and the federal government is to protect the infrastructure that affects the most people. Bringing down the power grid and utilities on which we depend (Hurricane Sandy, as an example) would most certainly apply. He strongly urged all companies and individuals to come forward with any and all information that would assist in preventing, containing and recovering from a widespread cyber breach.

Panel discussions included, “Security Initiatives: Regulatory and C-Level Concerns” and “Cyber and Infrastructure Security: Perspective and Best Practices.”

Joseph M. Rigby, Chairman, President and CEO of Pepco Holdings, Inc.; Pamela A. Witmer. Commissioner, PA Public Utility Commission; Dianne Solomon, Board President, NJ Board of Public Utilities; Calvin G. Butler Jr., CEO, Baltimore Gas and Electric Co., and Gerry Cauley, CEO, North American Electric Reliability Corporation, comprised the first panel. It was moderated by Saul Ewing partner Stephen B. Genzer.

The second panel consisted of  Serge Jorgensen, Founder and CTO of The Sylint Group; Abigail R. Hopper, Director, Maryland Energy Administration; Peter C. Foster, Senior Vice President, Network Security & Privacy, Media, Tech Professional and Intellectual Property, Willis North America; Chris Gidez, Executive Vice President, Global Leader, Energy Practice, Hill & Knowlton Strategies and George C. Tunis, III, Chairman and CEO, Hardwire LLC.

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