14th Annual Security
& Compliance Summit

Securing the Digital Utility Transformation


The digitalization of utilities promises to optimize the supply and demand of electricity, manage the increasing number of renewable sources of energy and micro grids while offering efficiency improvements for consumers. Furthermore, the large volumes of data generated, combined with predictive analytics allows utilities to transition to a proactive mode of asset management. Such a far-reaching digital transformation comes with many challenges for critical infrastructures, with cyber security near the top of the list. Although NERC CIP compliance is essential to ensure a common baseline across the industry, it cannot be the only measure used by power utilities to manage their security risks. To keep the electric grid secure and reliable, a proactive security program must be put in place, taking full advantage of modern technology, up to date processes and a highly trained workforce.

Gaétan Houle

As part of his 30 years of experience in all aspects of security, Gaétan has held several senior positions in the Canadian Federal Government, including Chief Engineer Communications Security with the Department of National Defence, Director Corporate Security with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Consul at the Canadian Embassy in Peru, following the 1996-97 terrorist crisis in Lima.

In the private sector, he has worked as Chief Security Officer for several multinational corporations such as Bombardier Aerospace, Airbus Group (Paris, France) and Bell Canada, where he personally wrote the security plan to protect the telecom infrastructure for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. In 2016, after having worked for four years as the National Cybersecurity Practice Leader for Ernst & Young Canada, Gaétan joined SNC Lavalin as the Principal Security Architect where he and his team help clients in the energy industry protect their critical infrastructure.

Gaétan has a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the Royal Military College of Canada and an MBA from the Jones International University. He is a member of the Professional Engineers of Ontario, and is also an active member of the IEC TC57 WG 15, an international working group dedicated to the development of advanced security standards used by power utilities.

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