MINNEAPOLIS- Ben Fowke, chairman, president and CEO, has been named to a committee that formed as a result of a National Infrastructure Advisory Council recommendation in an October 2010 report on Electric and Nuclear Sector Resilience. The committee, composed of CEOs from the utility and nuclear sectors, will receive regular briefings from the FBI, National Security Agency, Department of Energy and Department of Homeland Security and begin cooperative efforts to protect cybersecurity issues.
"As one of the largest electricity and natural gas utilities in the United States, Xcel Energy is very involved in the cybersecurity debate," Fowke said. "While we have worked hard already to implement security measures on all levels, we are very aware of the threat posed by this evolving issue. I am pleased to be a part of a group that will bring more focus to this issue and shape potential federal legislation that will likely impact all U.S. utilities."
In 2010, the NIAC published a report that outlined recommendations on how to establish critical infrastructure resilience. One of the focal points included the electricity and nuclear sector. Specifically, the first recommendation in the report suggests:
"The White House initiates an executive-level dialogue with electric and nuclear sector CEOs on the respective roles and responsibilities of the private sector in addressing high-impact infrastructure risks and potential threats…"
"The group has already received several directives and is eager to move forward based on initial conversations," Fowke said. "Ultimately, we will be representing a cross-section of the industry, and we are honored to take that role and help develop measures that will benefit national security."
NIAC advises the U.S. president through the secretary of Homeland Security on the security of critical infrastructure sectors and their information systems. Several advisory committees work with NIAC on a variety of security issues, including communications infrastructure and emergency management. More information on NIAC and its role can be found at http://www.dhs.gov/national-infrastructure-advisory-council.