Fred Christie, the Chief Information Officer for Maryland public power utility Easton Utilities, has been selected to participate in the 2024 Operational Technology Defender Fellowship, a highly selective education program created, funded, and led by the Department of Energy’s Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response.
Christie will join a small group of 15 highly qualified participants across the US for the OT Defender Fellowship, which only offers one cohort per year.
The program serves not only as a collaboration opportunity, but as an information exchange between government and energy sector experts that fosters two-way advancement of cybersecurity capabilities and processes.
The program is designed to give middle- and senior-level Operations Technology security managers in the energy sector the opportunity to learn about the strategies used to target energy infrastructure, and the cybersecurity tools and tactics the U.S. government is using to counter them.
“Because security managers play such a decisive role in defending the energy sector against cyberattacks and physical security breaches, developing and honing their skills is crucial to protecting our national security,” the utility noted.
During the fellowship, participants will gain a better understanding of the threats against critical infrastructure and learn about capabilities for detection of, defense against, and recovery from cyberattacks.
East Utilities said that they will leave the program equipped with actionable information, insight, and connections to apply in their roles post-fellowship. The OT Defender program is hosted by the Idaho National Laboratory and funded by the DOE.