FBI Los Angeles and Southern California Edison Describe Cybersecurity Partnership (Extended)

FBI Los Angeles Assistant Director in Charge Kristi Johnson and Southern California Edison’s Brian Barrios discuss the importance of ongoing partnerships in protecting the energy sector.

Video Transcript

Hello, I’m Kristi Johnson, assistant director in charge of the FBI Los Angeles Field Office.

Barrios: And I’m Brian Barrios, vice president of Cybersecurity and IT Compliance at Southern California Edison. We’re here at one of our substations that serves power to thousands of our customers. 

Johnson: In recent years, the FBI has seen a wider-than-ever range of cyber actors threaten Americans’ safety, security, and confidence in our digitally connected world.

Barrios: The energy sector in the United States has a long history of working to reduce and prevent threats to electrical infrastructure, either natural or man‐made. The utility industry is committed to keeping communities safe. However, the capabilities of our cyber adversaries are changing quickly and that’s why we cannot face these threats alone…

Johnson: That’s right Brian - cyber security is the ultimate team sport. Partnerships are critical to defeating cyber criminals and to preventing lasting harm to businesses, consumers, and the community. 

Barrios: The key to our success is a commitment to industry-government coordination. That’s one of the most important actions a company can take while preparing for cybersecurity events. This includes a collaborative partnership with the FBI, which is something we’ve done for many years. We encourage you to build a similar partnership.

Johnson: Once you’ve developed that relationship, the next step is to develop an incident response plan and to include the FBI in that plan. Bottom line, the FBI is most effective when we are engaged immediately following a cyber intrusion. It allows us – and our federal partners – to help limit the damage, improve our national security, and prevent others from being victimized.

Barrios: At SCE, safety is also our top priority and that’s why it’s critical to always be prepared for any type of cyber event before it occurs. It’s important to have the most effective tools and resources ready to go. If you experience a breach, report it immediately and involve the FBI as soon as possible.

Johnson: Cyber risk is business risk, and cyber security is national security. Report early and stay in close partnership with your local FBI field office. Together, we can defend America’s values, ingenuity, critical infrastructure, and business equities through robust and enduring partnerships.

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