The Utilities Security Council kicks off 2013 with the release of two new white papers, Metal Theft: A 21st Century Plague and Intelligence Networks: Partnerships in Complex Utility Security Risk Management. Both are available to members as a free download on the Council's webpage.
Theft of metals, in particular, theft of copper in the form of wiring, grounding cables, and other copper materials is a serious problem for most utilities in that the theft not only creates a basic level security problem associated with forced entry, vandalism, and other property destruction; it creates unsafe conditions for workers and members of the public. It places the electricity grid, communications media, and other public safety systems at severe risk. The simple theft of metals has resulted in a number of deaths. Continued disruption of services add significant costs to the millions of dollars already lost to North America's utilities operations. On a global level, this problem is magnified. Metal Theft: A 21st Century Plague explores the overall problem of metal theft from a solutions perspective, and offers advice based on the work already done by many utilities.
Utilities are typically well-versed in protection principles related to asset protection and emergency management practices. And even though there exists concern over cyber security protection practices, these too are becoming more manageable by applying existing and developing standards in addition to regulatory requirements. There is however, a level of threat that exceeds the ability and resources of solely the utility to manage. Intelligence Networks: Partnerships in Complex Utility Security Risk Management examines the current frameworks in place for information and intelligence sharing within the utilities sector. The purpose of this white paper is to provide a basis of discussion for intelligence collaboration and to emphasize the utilities need for developing it.