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Executive View

Texas RE’s Director Lists APTs as One of the Top Cybersecurity Threats

Kenath Carver

Director, Cybersecurity Outreach, Texas RE

Mr. Carver is Director of Cybersecurity Outreach and CIP Compliance at Texas RE. He joined Texas Reliability Entity, Inc. (Texas RE), in February 2012, and has more than 15 years of Information Technology experience.

Below is an excerpt of Certrec Sentinel’s recent interview with Mr. Carver.
To read the full interview, click here.

Certrec Sentinel Question: You’ve been in this industry for more than a decade. What, in your opinion, are the hottest cybersecurity threats at the present time?

Answer: Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) are at the top of my list. APTs continue to evolve and exploit vulnerabilities with increased sophistication. Past and current vulnerabilities continue to be leveraged by APTs to try to achieve objectives. Examples of the most recent vulnerabilities include “PIPEDREAM,” “Log4j”, various ransomware, and the “SolarWinds Orion Code Compromise.” Fortunately, the NERC CIP Standards offer a baseline of cyber and physical security controls that promote the reduction of risk associated with these threats and vulnerabilities. For example, network security, security patching, malicious code prevention, security event monitoring, and supply chain risk management controls can all be found in various CIP Standards. Today, we are all in a “Shields Up” status because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, so it is important that organizations and entities continue to work towards strengthening their cyber and physical security posture.

Certrec Sentinel Question: Please provide a tip to aspiring professionals in the field of CIP compliance.

Answer: Let us start by removing one myth: you do not have to have a decade of experience to make a difference in this profession. This industry needs more individuals to help meet the demand and challenges associated with the reliability and security of our Critical Infrastructure. For aspiring professionals in the field of CIP compliance, do not forget the basics. I leave you with this final thought—we must continue to focus on more diverse candidate pools to help promote innovation and new ways of thinking to foster solutions to the unique opportunities facing the grid. Remember that our differences as individuals make us stronger as a team.

Expert View

Find out How the Recent Update to NERC CIP-013-2 Affects You

Kirk Heacock, CIP Compliance Analyst,

Kirk Heacock

CIP Analyst at Certrec

“Ensure your vendor is implementing cybersecurity best practices when it comes to their products such as the use of software vulnerability code checking applications. Also remember that cybersecurity incidents of this nature should always be reported quickly using the entity’s Incident Response Plan(s), as required by CIP-003 and CIP-008. In these days and times, it is more important than ever to be familiar with your Incident Response Plans. Not only will this be very useful to the entity at the time of the incident, it also helps ensure information regarding a cybersecurity event will be widely disseminated.”

Read more.

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