Critical Infrastructure Protection

Critical infrastructure must be secure and able to withstand and rapidly recover from all hazards. Proactive and coordinated efforts are necessary to strengthen and maintain secure, functioning, and resilient critical infrastructure – including assets, networks, and systems – that are vital to public confidence and a nation’s safety, prosperity, and well-being. PSI provides strategic guidance to U.S. Departments, Agencies, and private partners to provide the security and resilience needed for oil, gas, chemical, water, and electrical infrastructures.

Electrical power is necessary to support, supply, and distribute water, food, fuel, communications, transport, financial transactions, emergency services, government services, and all other infrastructures supporting the national economy and welfare. Should significant parts of the electrical power infrastructure be lost for any substantial period of time, the consequences will be catastrophic both in loss of life and financial impact.

The grid is vulnerable to physical attack.

Protecting the Grid – The Bulk Electric Power system is a prime target for planned and coordinated physical and cyber-attacks, and utilities need to be prepared to protect the grid. Simply building bigger walls is not the answer. The best protection comes from a blended approach that deters threats, mitigates vulnerabilities, and minimizes consequences. In developing a risk management framework and protection plan, utilities need to determine threats and assess vulnerabilities, establish priorities based on risk, and execute protective programs that include implementation of physical security plans, facility hardening, and integrated security systems, all while maintaining existing operations.

Determining potential threats and evaluating related vulnerabilities are important first steps in enhancing security for substations, transmission facilities, or control centers and in meeting the NERC CIP-014 Physical Security Criteria. This initial risk assessment identifies those facilities that are most vulnerable, and classifies those that, if rendered inoperable or damaged, would result in widespread instability, uncontrolled separation, or a series of cascading failures.

Proven Expertise – With proven experience and superior expertise in critical infrastructure protection, PSI works collaboratively with its partners to provide enhanced security measures to deter, detect, delay, assess, communicate, and respond to potential threats. We develop and assist in the implementation of programs that include:

  • Risk management framework
  • Threat and vulnerability assessments
  • Physical security and protection plans
  • NERC / CIP Compliance
  • Concept of Operations (ConOps)
  • Integrated security systems
  • Access control
  • Video surveillance
  • Perimeter intrusion detection
  • Video analytics
  • Physical security information management
  • Remediation/hardening
  • Design and planning
  • Construction
  • Root cause/forensics

PSI has been assisting and advising several agencies and industries in critical infrastructure protection. Previous case studies include The Department of Homeland Security, The Department of Energy, The National Nuclear Security Administration, The Tennessee Valley Authority, Bonneville Power Administration, Western Area Power Administration, and commercial supplier entities.