End Users '20 under 40' 2015—Brent Castagnetto

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Brent Castagnetto, 37

Manager, cyber and physical security audits and investigations, Western Electricity Coordinating Council

Salt Lake City

Brent Castagnetto oversees 12 auditors with cyber and physical security expertise at 350 utilities from British Columbia, down through the United States, to the northern half of Mexico.

“We look at ourselves as security and reliability, and also provide outreach and training,” he said.

Every employee must understand the rules to be followed, he said.

That oversight over the systems and facilities extends from fencing to authorizing access to facilities—vetting people before they “wander” on to sites, he said.

His first job in the industry was as a security engineer, configuring firewalls and managing them remotely.

“I’m a tinkerer. I’m passionate about finding solutions to problems,” he said.

His wish-list technology is to have access to threat and intelligence databases for trend analysis “to better understand what we’re dealing with,” he said.

Substation attacks are a particular concern to guard against, he said.

“Right now we react, but I would like to be proactive,” he said.

Insider threats—“the possibility that someone who works inside the organization becomes a bad actor”—and the potential for insider attacks pose one of his biggest challenges today, he said.

Five years from now, unless things change, that will continue to be a big challenge, he said. “Until we realize that threat, it will still be the insider threat,” he said.