Distribution Security Forum

Join us in Washington, DC!
March 22-23, 2018

The Distribution Security Forum is a conference focused on security issues in power distribution systems. This event will focus on improving security for the electric distribution infrastructure. Join us in Washington, DC, March 22nd and 23rd, for discussion panels, distribution presentations, and networking with peers facing similar threats.

The Ukraine attacks and other recent developments have highlighted the need to improve security for electric distribution infrastructure that is not covered by the CIP standards. With advancing technology, cyber attacks against electric distribution systems, advanced metering infrastructures, microgrids, and distributed energy resources are presenting an increasing risk.

Who should attend?

  • Utility security leadership and staff
  • Utility distribution operations leadership and staff
  • Utility operational technology support
  • Product vendors that provide products for distribution, metering, micrograms, or distribution energy resources
  • State regulatory and/or energy officials and staff
  • Security solutions providers
  • Engineering and consulting firms supporting electric distribution systems
  • Interested individuals from trade organizations, research and policy organizations, national labs, and academia

Registration Fee:

Non Member Early Bird Member
$395.00 $295.00 $195.00


Experience a gateway into modern sophistication. Our Arlington hotel is perfectly situated minutes from Washington, D.C. and less than one mile from Reagan National Airport, with an interior corridor connecting you to the Crystal City Metro. Our exclusive M Club provides a modern 24/7 sanctuary where guests can recharge, connect and relax with daily breakfast and bites, wine and beer served every evening. We’ve reinvented our spacious guest rooms to accommodate the way in which you live and work, with modular furniture, premium connectivity, smart TVs and walk-in showers. Our new restaurant, 15th & Eads, serves fresh locally sourced items with a delicious story. Take a dip in our indoor/outdoor pool or maintain your workout routine in our upgraded fitness center. Hosting an event in the Washington, D.C. area? Explore 35,000 square feet of dynamic event space, from two ballrooms to convenient breakout space. The Crystal Gateway Marriott is your perfect destination for location, space and chic sophistication.

 Day 1

Start Time End Time Event
8:00 AM 9:00 AM Registration
9:00 AM 9:30 AM Opening Keynote

Suedeen Kelly

Suedeen G. Kelly is a highly recognized energy practitioner and former commissioner with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).  She represents a variety of clients in the electric and natural gas industries on business, regulatory, litigation, enforcement and policy matters such as electricity and gas markets, renewable energy, electricity transmission, natural gas and oil infrastructure, LNG, electricity reliability standards, hydro licensing, carbon emissions, smart grid, energy efficiency and distributed generation.

9:30 AM 10:15 AM A systemic approach to cybersecurity

Dr. Erfan Ibrahim, Research Advisor, Energy Systems Integration, NREL

Today’s standards based cybersecurity controls for Supervisory Control & Data Acquisition (SCADA) Systems are very IT centric and do little to protect against the Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) from nation states and nefarious organizations that compromise trusted systems and use the security credentials to their advantage. The National Renewable Energy Lab has developed a systemic security architecture that leverages sound network design principles, context based intrusion detection systems and in-line blocking tools to provide an end-to-end security layer across critical infrastructure networks to address cyberattacks from APTs. In this talk Dr. Erfan Ibrahim, Acting Center Director for Cyber-Physicals Systems Security & Resilience at NREL will provide an outline of this systemic security architecture and explain how this architecture can be used to securely integrate Distributed Energy Resources (DER) such as solar panels, wind turbines, energy storage, electric vehicles and fuel cells to the grid without forcing the power systems to adhere to sophisticated cybersecurity controls. This approach will save the electric sector billions of dollars in avoided costs of unnecessary power systems upgrades for improving the cybersecurity posture. Purpose built cybersecurity technologies maintain the cybersecurity posture while leaving the power systems and DER to focus on job of delivering safe, reliable and affordable electricity to the customers.

10:15 AM 10:45 AM Networking Break
10:45 AM 12:00 PM Panel – Trade Organization Perspectives

Moderator – Sharla Artz, Vice President, Gov’t Affairs, Policy and Cybersecurity, UTC

In this panel, representatives from the major industry trade organizations will provide their perspectives on cybersecurity issues arising in distribution systems.

12:00 PM 1:00 PM Lunch
1:00 PM 1:30 PM Constance Douris – Lexington Institute

Ukraine had to shut down its grid twice in one year as a result of a cyberattack. The threat of such an incident no longer is hypothetical. One vulnerability of the U.S. grid is that cybersecurity standards do not exist for the distribution system. This is particularly dangerous because the bulk power and distribution systems are linked. A successful cyberattack on one or two utilities could create a ripple effect, destabilizing electricity in large areas. Operators of the grid need tools to detect and correct malicious threats in networks before they cause serious damage.

1:30 PM 2:45 PM Panel – Utility Perspectives

Moderator – Steven Parker, President, EnergySec

In this panel, representatives of electric utilities will discuss emerging security issues and solutions on the distribution side of the grid.

2:45 PM 3:15 PM Networking Break
3:15 PM 3:45 PM A review of state-level cybersecurity initiatives

This presentation will discuss state cybersecurity initiatives that could affect electric utilities.

3:45 PM 5:00 PM Panel – State Perspectives

Moderator, Paul Feldman, Director, EnergySec

In this panel, representatives for state regulatory agencies and energy departments will discuss their views on the security of electric distribution systems.

5:00 PM 6:30 PM Reception and Networking

 Day 2

Start Time End Time Event
8:00 AM 9:00 AM Breakfast, Registration, and Networking
9:00 AM 9:45 AM Morning Keynote

Arthur House, Connecticut Chief Cybersecurity Risk Officer

House became Chief Cybersecurity Risk Officer for the State of Connecticut in October 2016 after four years as Chairman of Connecticut’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority. House has a background in national security, having served as Director of Communications in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and as Chief of the Communications Group for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, a combat support agency of the U.S. Department of Defense. As a White House Fellow he served as Special Projects Officer on the staff of the National Security Council.

9:45 AM 10:15 AM Mark Weatherford

The Cloud, IOT and Critical Infrastructure: It’s Not Too Late for ‘The Cyber

The evolution from perimeter-centric, hardware-based IT environments to virtualized data centers and the cloud is underway and when 62.9% of IT professionals believe the public cloud is more secure than their own data center, it’s no longer just a trend. IOT spending is also predicted to be $1.29T USD by 2020 so it’s a catalytic opportunity for security to take a central role in the future of IT.

10:15 AM 10:45 AM Networking Break
10:45 AM 11:30 AM Utility Presentation

Speaker to be announced

11:30 AM 12:00 PM Incorporating Cybersecurity Best Practices in an End-to-End DERMS Solution
Varuna Mehra

In the energy sector, there has been exponential growth in the volume and diversity of connected grid-edge energy management devices — with more than 15 million smart thermostats, 1.5 million residential solar installations, and more than 600,000 electric vehicles coming online in the last few years. In order to connect and coordinate within this growing ecosystem of grid-valuable devices, utilities will require a software solution that securely manages the enormous complexity of decision-making across distributed energy resources (DERs), such as electric vehicle charging equipment, smart thermostats, battery energy storage, smart inverters, etc. The combination of utility- and consumer-owned DERs also creates a new level of complexity for cybersecurity practices, policies, and management. As a result, cybersecurity needs to be front-and-center in Distributed Energy Resources Management Systems (DERMS), and this talk will highlight key preventative measures in place in order to protect advanced grids from a cyberattack. Building on the findings and recommendations in the recently published AEE Institute report, Cybersecurity in a Distributed Energy Future, the talk will outline a holistic approach to incorporating the highest standard of cybersecurity practices within a DERMS platform — from the device to the utility.

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