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Why Protecting Critical Infrastructure from All Threats Must Be a Priority

Challenges faced by Louisiana make New Orleans an ideal location for the discussions of Critical Infrastructure, Protection and Resilience North America.

Fans of the Die Hard film series will be familiar with Live Free or Die Hard. This 2007 American action-thriller film and the fourth instalment in the Die Hard film series uses John Carlin’s Wired magazine article “A Farewell to Arms,” and is about a cyber-terrorist attack on the United States. The attack procedure is known as a “fire sale,” depicting a three-stage coordinated attack on a country’s transportation, telecommunications, financial, and utilities infrastructure systems.

Although the above storyline is straight out of the fertile minds of Hollywood script writers, the national threats it depicts are very real. These attacks can impact many different sectors and facilities along the national supply chain, so whether you are a port operator or work in the energy or telecommunications sector the following event is a must-attend.

Critical Infrastructure, Protection and Resilience North America (www.ciprna-expo.com) is being held in New Orleans April 6-8, 2022, and will be attended by many expert speakers to discuss the 16 critical infrastructure sectors whose assets, systems, and networks, whether physical or virtual, are considered so vital to the United States that their incapacitation or destruction would have a debilitating effect on security, national economic security, public health and safety.

The nation’s critical infrastructure must be secure and able to withstand and rapidly recover from all hazards through a proactive and coordinated effort. Achieving this will require integration with the national preparedness systems across prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery.

“Critical Infrastructure (CI) and supply chain will be targeted more in 2022 (state-sponsored, cybercriminal gangs) with ransomware and malware attacks,” Chuck Brooks, President, Brooks Consulting, said.

“CI is a high-profile target for both geopolitical and economic considerations for hackers. Protecting critical infrastructure Industrial Control Systems (ICS), Operational Technology (OT), and IT systems from cybersecurity threats is a difficult endeavor,” he said. “They all have unique operational frameworks, access points, and a variety of legacy systems and emerging technologies. Protecting the critical infrastructure supply chain in IT and OT systems is a public- and private-sector priority.”

“The increased interconnectivity and integration of endpoints combined with a rapidly growing and poorly controlled attack surface poses a significant threat to the increasing number of infrastructure being connected to the internet. Protecting such an enormous attack surface is no easy task, especially when there are so many varying types and security standards on the devices. It will only worsen in 2022 as connectivity grows.”

2020 was a record-breaking year for power outages in the United States with 2021 close behind, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), with Louisiana being the hardest hit. This makes the city an ideal location for the discussions of CIPRNA.

John Donlon QPM FSi, Chairman of the International Association of Critical Infrastructure Protection Professionals (IACIPP), said, “Due to the increasing interconnectivity and interdependency of critical infrastructure, there are obviously serious consequences to the country’s economy in the event of a successful attack, from all forms of hazards and threats. It is important operator/owners of critical infrastructure and the supporting agencies are prepared for any eventuality.”

“This has been demonstrated in recent times with cyber/ransomware attacks on the City of New Orleans and Colonial Pipeline, as well as natural disasters such as Hurricane Ida and Tropical Storm Isaias,” continued Donlon.

If you are responsible for the security and resilience of critical infrastructure or emergency preparedness, Critical Infrastructure, Protection and Resilience North America, April 6-8, New Orleans is a must-attend.

Register today at www.ciprna-expo.com to hear the latest thinking on protecting infrastructure from all threats, meet with industry experts and network with peers.

Preview of selected topics and speakers at this year’s conference.

April 6, 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m. – Session 1: Strategies in CI Protection & Resilience
The ability to adapt to changing conditions and prepare for the unexpected will help us more rapidly recover from disruption. Resilience against changing threats, whether cyber or physical, is essential for CI to ensure mitigating economic impacts of disruption. What are the latest ideas and plans in developing resilience strategies? How can we best identify and manage risk and how do we best apply system-thinking to strengthen critical infrastructure resilience?
Chair: John Donlon QPM, FSI

National infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP) – Jacob Anderson, Strategy Branch Chief, CISA/ISD
Brian Harrell, VP & Chief Security Officer, AVANGRID

Securing the Nation’s Largest Tonnage Port Through Public Private Partnerships – Lester Millet, Safety Agency Risk Manager / FSO Workgroup Chairman, Port of South Louisiana & Infragard Louisiana President

Evaluating Supply Chain Resilience – Mark Scott, Critical Infrastructure Specialist, District of Columbia Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency

Risk, Reliance and the Resilience Imperative – Jeff Gaynor, President, American Resilience

A Decision Analytic Approach to Electric Infrastructure Resilience – Frédéric Petit, Principal Infrastructure Analyst, Argonne National Laboratory

April 7, 9 a.m.-10:30 a.m. – Session 2a: Emerging Threats for Critical Infrastructure
The ever-changing nature of threats, whether natural, through climate change, or man-made through terrorism activities and insider threats, means the need to continually review and update policies, practices and technologies to meet these growing demands. But what are those emerging threats and how can we identify, monitor and manage their levels of potential damage?
Ruth Christensen, Analyst, NCTC
Steve Zeringue, WMD Coordinator, FBI

Terrorism: Impact of Global Pandemic Heightening Risk Factors for Insider Threats – Andrew McLaughlin, Analyst, National Counterterrorism Center, and Andrew Andell, Analyst, National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC)

Lauren Nash, Warning Coordination Meteorologist, National Weather Service/NOAA

Download Preliminary Conference Program Guide: CIPRNA 2022 Event Guide

Ben Lane
Ben Lane is Event Manager for two international expos organized by Torch Marketing Co Ltd: Critical Infrastructure Protection & Resilience North America https://www.ciprna-expo.com/ and Critical Infrastructure Protection & Resilience Europe https://www.cipre-expo.com/

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