With recent cybersecurity breaches at large retailers, it’s easy to forget about the most basic and still threatening issue of physical security. That is why I am pleased to report the Department of Energy (DOE) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in coordination with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) Office of Energy Infrastructure Security, the Electricity Sector Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ES-ISAC), North American Electricity Reliability Corporation (NERC) and industry experts, have begun a series of briefings across the United States with electricity industry asset owners and law enforcement on the physical security of electricity substations.

Briefings have taken place in:

  • Chicago – January 14, 2014
  • Denver – January 16, 2014
  • Tampa – January 21, 2014
  • Houston – January 23, 2014

These meetings are not open to the general public. DOE says the intended audiences for the briefings are security personnel and substation engineers from electric utilities, as well as law enforcement within the regions. 

Upcoming briefings include:

  • The session for FEMA Region II will be held in New York, NY and hosted by Con Edison.
    Date: February 4, 2014
    Time: 8:00am to 12:30pm
    Registration Deadline: Each person attending must register by January 31, 2014.
    Location: Con Edison Auditorium, 4 Irving Place, New York, NY 10121
  • The session for FEMA Region IX will be held in San Jose, CA and hosted by Pacific Gas & Electric.
    Date: February 11, 2014
    Time: 8:00am to 12:30pm
    Registration Deadline: Each person attending must register by February 7, 2014.
    Location: San Jose State University, One Washington Square, San Jose, CA 95192, Barrett Ballroom
  • The session for FEMA Region VI will be held in Albuquerque, NM and hosted by PNM.
    Date: February 12, 2014
    Time: 8:00am to 12:30pm
    Registration Deadline: Each person attending must register by February 7, 2014.
    Location: Hyatt Regency Albuquerque, 330 Tijeras NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102
  • The session for FEMA Region X will be held in Seattle, WA and hosted by Puget Sound Energy.
    Date: February 13, 2014
    Time: 8:00am to 12:30pm
    Registration Deadline: Each person attending must register by February 10, 2014. Location: Puget Sound Energy, 355 110th Ave NE, Bellevue, WA 98004
  • The session for FEMA Region I will be held in Boston, MA and hosted by National Grid.
    Date: March 18, 2014
    Time: 8:00am to 12:30pm
    Registration Deadline: Each person attending must register by March 13, 2014.
    Location: Gillette Stadium, 1 Patriot Place, Foxborough, MA 02035, Entrance E-1

Additional logistical information will be emailed to all registrants prior to the sessions. Late registration will not be accepted. A resource for you this month is a somewhat dated (2007) but still relevant report: The NIAC Convergence of Physical and Cyber Technologies and Related Security Management Challenges.