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Ensuring a Secure Digital Utility

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The three main themes communicated during this WaterSide Chat were as follows:

  1. When evaluating third-party vendors, utilities should begin gathering information on the vendor’s security practices as soon as possible.
  2. Challenging when PII or sensitive data is gathered is important in trying to minimize risk. Without a clear justification, utilities should avoid gathering this kind of data whenever possible.
  3. Continuous internal staff training is critical, as human error can often be one of the largest risks to information security.

John Verry, Managing Partner of Pivot Point Security, has led hundreds of high-profile security assessments across a diverse cross-section of noteworthy systems in the government, legal, telecommunications, critical infrastructure, finance and transportation sectors over the last dozen years. As a certified ISO 27001 Lead Auditor, John is a proponent of the ISO framework to help companies establish, maintain and continuously improve a robust Information Security Management System (ISMS). As a certified Third Party Risk Management Professional, John established the TPRM line of business at Pivot Point Security and has successfully built many innovative TPRM programs. John is also the host of Pivot Point Security’s Security Awareness Education platform; he teaches various practical tips & lessons to educate clients on real world information security risks. 

Sree Pulapaka joined San Antonio Water System in 2016 where he oversees technology strategy and operations to provide innovative, reliable and secure technology solutions to the water system. In this capacity, he is responsible for enterprise solutions, application support, technology budget, program and vendor management, GIS, SCADA, Cyber security and IT Infrastructure. Prior to joining SAWS, Sree had a successful track record of managing complex information technology programs across a number of sectors, . and has previous experience with one of the largest water and wastewater utilities in the country serving 1.8 million residents in suburban DC. D He earned his Master of Science in engineering from Texas Tech University.