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October 2009

Jerry Freese: Make Critical Infrastructure Protection a Priority

There's a multidimensional approach to information security in the electric sector. On the business side, we have to protect the corporate networks and data. On the operational side, critical control system security is a mandate from industry groups and regulators. Given the reality of the financial and resource commitments these approaches require, it's often easy to forget that both exist in a larger security context of critical infrastructure protection (CIP). In today's environment of competing financial requirements, CIP is understandably less a direct driver of security than it is an indirect beneficiary of whatever protection is deemed effective and affordable for business conduct or regulatory compliance. It's not the best situation given that CIP is key to the preservation of the social and economic fabric of our way of life. That would sound like pure melodrama if it weren't so true. Even so, and in spite of the rhetoric from government and industry groups, the concept of critical infrastructure protection is little ...

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