PwC’s Mark Coughlin and Director Technology, Security and Strategy at auDA, Rachael Falk, have been announced as the keynote presenters among a lineup of experts presenting at Secure Utilities, an event that tackles issues around data security for utilities in the digital age.

The Secure Utilities program has just been announced, and includes a presentation from Mr Coughlin, who is the Energy Utilities and Mining Leader at PwC Australia, and has almost 30 years’ experience in utilities, including commercial management, and CEO and CFO roles in large Australian utility corporations.

Mr Coughlin will present first on the broader utility landscape, then focus on the security considerations that utilities need to keep in mind in the present climate.

Delivering the afternoon keynote presentation, Creating a security culture – the five knows of cyber security, Ms Falk will simplify the complex topic of cyber security down to the essential components every organisation should know.

Before her role as an .au Domain Administrator, Ms Falk was the National Security Advisor for Telstra, leading a team who reviewed the information security practices of Telstra’s vendors, with particular focus on vendors who handled customer information.

A widely-recognised cyber security expert helping large organisations such as utilities raise awareness on cyber security issues, Ms Falk co-authored the highly regarded book The Five Knows of Cyber Security.

The newly released program also features Chris Leckie, a professor at the Department of Computing and Information Systems at the University of Melbourne, and Associate Director of the Oceania Cyber Security Centre. Prof Leckie will explain how utilities can protect critical infrastructure from new-generation distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.

Prof Leckie has over two decades of research experience in artificial intelligence and data mining, having led research teams at Telstra Research Laboratories, National ICT Australia (NICTA) and the University of Melbourne, and made numerous contributions to cyber security, particularly relating to data mining and artificial intelligence.

With a 30-year career centred on the development of strategies and the application of technology to solve utility business problems, Andrew Steer, NCC Support Manager at United Energy, will also present on improving detection, response, reconfiguration, and the restoration of the smart grid.

Since he started at United Energy four years ago, Mr Steer has focused on designing processes and implementing systems for smart metering and real time gas and electricity network control.  

Mr Steer’s work on integrating the Victorian smart metering analytics and traditional SCADA control systems into day-to-day grid operations over the past 18 months is the basis for his presentation.

Also presenting is Scott Ceely, Managing Director at Seer Security, who has been working in cyber security for over 15 years, beginning his career in the Australian Federal Government and moving into private industry in 2011.

Mr Ceely provides advice and consultation to organisations around security strategy and incident response, and will deliver a presentation entitled Connected devices must be supervised by a responsible adult at all times.

Having more than 25 years’ experience as a master computer programmer, university lecturer and reverse engineering analyst, Simon Smith, CEO of eVestigator, is a cyber investigative and cyber counter-intelligence threat expert who has helped countless organisations work backwards to solve their cyber security issues.

At Secure Utilities, Mr Smith will explain how a utility’s personnel are its biggest risk when it comes to keeping data secure, and will outline the steps utilities need to take to protect their data internally, as well as discuss some of the strategies and technologies available to achieve this.

Principal Consultants of Governance Risk and Compliance at Enex Carbon, Rachel Zainey and Richard Sengmany, will present on the topic of Creating amazing teams: building capability based on board level risks and management of security culture.

Ms Zainey has over seven years’ experience in information security and technology risk management, implementing a range of successful business change initiatives with regard to the identification, assessment and treatment of operational business risks.

Mr Sengmany has more than 10 years of experience in information technology and cyber security management and has developed expertise in engaging people on all levels regarding the governance of cyber security.

Having worked at multiple levels within cyber security management, architecture and operations, Mr Sengmany has led and implemented a significant number of cyber security projects that support business requirements and overarching strategy.

Other highlights of the Secure Utilities program include a Utility CIO Panel, to be moderated by management consultant, Ken Brandt, and a presentation by the Australian Women in Security Networks who will explain why Australia needs more women in security.

Other presentations include Update on the water industry: where we stand, where we need to go by Sarah Mahar, Asset Management Program Coordinator, WSAA; What can we learn from the world of banking? by Jarrod Loidl, Domain Lead (Security), ANZ Bank; and Security considerations for a Victorian water utility by Zoran Savanovic South East Water.

Is your utility prepared to tackle the challenge of cyber security?

Our event, Secure Utilities, being held at the Rendezvous Hotel in Melbourne on 23 March 2017, will ensure you’re up to date with the latest methods and technology to keep your assets and data safe.

View the full program here.

Lauren brings a fresh approach to content. While she’s previously written for publications as diverse as Australian Geographic, The Border Watch and Girlfriend, she’s found her true passion in her current role as an editor in the world of energy and infrastructure trade magazines.

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