Career and Technology Perspective. Those of us that have been in the information technology and security fields for several decades can easily look back at our own experiences and appreciate incredible advancements. When I started with Behlen Mfg., the systems were distinct and independent: mainframe for business (IBM 3400 series), mini for engineering design and schematics production (Synercom Technology's flavor of DEC's PDP 11/70), and a sprinkling of dedicated, often proprietary end user systems that ranged from graphics stations, word processing stations, to dumb terminals (aka tubes). Behlen offered a great opportunity to work a wide range of challenges from programming engineering and manufacturing focused solutions (generating bill of materials, etc. based on parametric inputs on the mainframe) to eventually include "downscaling" some of mini-computer building steel frame design/iteration programs to engineering PCs. This allowed the engineering team to further enhance, optimize frame building designs by speeding up an iterative process, permitting more than one design to be analyzed at a time, without huge additional spend. I also had the neat infrastructure challenge to directly support Mainframe VM and mini-computers.. planning, performing key upgrades (OS, DASD storage, core to digital memory with salvage parts, etc) Behlen was also where I helped bring on the PC revolution with computer aided design systems (CAD) including some useful CNC (computer numerical control for manufacturing automation) and more broadly used office productivity software, establishing networking (3COM, Banyan Vines), while coding up some very useful Turbo Pascal applications.
Federal bodies remain acutely interested and inquisitive about what the electric power industry is doing to address security concerns even as related standards advance and compliance enforced footprints scope rapidly expand across the industry with FERC and NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) driven oversight, auditing, and inspection.
I expect cyber security to continue being a challenging and rapidly evolving critical infrastructure arena. This is an exciting time to be engaged with critical infrastructure protection!