Making Critical Infrastructure Resilient

Sonecon provides analysis and advice to public and private sector clients to strengthen the resilience of their systems following catastrophic events from sophisticated cyber-attacks to “worse than Superstorm Sandy” natural hazards, for example:
  • Helps corporations and government agencies build plans, capabilities, and concepts of operations to respond to and recover from large-scale, sophisticated cyber-attacks.
  • Assists private and Federally-funded research organizations in the development of new strategies for public-private partnerships for cyber response.
  • Helps utilities and other private sector clients develop targeted, cost-effective investment strategies against an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) attack.
  • Helps shape public policy to strengthen resilience against Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and High Explosives (CBRNE) hazards, informed by Dr. Stockton‘s lead contribution to the National Academy of Sciences study on strengthening resilience against CBRNE events in the United States and abroad.
  • Provides analysis of how insurance and reinsurance companies and other businesses can help mitigate the risks posed by CBRNE hazards.
  • Provides analysis that helps public and private sector clients account for the unique challenges and resilience opportunities created by the integration of U.S. and Canadian energy infrastructure, especially in electric power and natural gas sectors.
  • Assists government and private sector partners to build “Whole Community” strategies to help utilities accelerate restoration of power in wide area, long duration outages.

Challenges in Foreign Policy and National Security

Sonecon provides analysis and insights that help public and private executives achieve their foreign, defense and homeland security-related policy objectives, for example:
  • Helped a U.S. pharmaceutical company develop the policy case for support from the U.S. government for a program to provide access to a new treatment in a key Middle Eastern country.
  • Worked with the National Guard Bureau and U.S. Northern Command to train Dual Status Commanders who will lead Federal and State military forces in supporting utility power restoration and providing DOD support to civil authorities in future catastrophes.
  • Helped private and public sector clients to evaluate potential internal threats, drawing on Dr. Stockton service as co-chair of the 2013 Defense Department Independent Review of the Washington Navy Yard Shooting.
  • Helped a Federally Funded Research and Development Center analyze the lessons from the Fukashima radiological disaster and develop policy options for industry and governments in the Asia-Pacific region to reduce such catastrophic risks.
  • Assisted the Canadian Government in examining shared security challenges to Canada and the United States and developing policy options to strengthen their collaborations and in partnership with the private sector.
  • Supported the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) effort to develop and conduct training and education programs for disaster preparedness and assisted state emergency management leaders in structuring regional exercises for catastrophic events.
  • Analyzed how the United States could build a border strategy of “security in depth,” and use the National Guard to help Guatemala, Belize and other countries counter smuggling threats before they reach U.S borders, including deployment of advanced sensors and system-integration technologies for enhanced security on Mexico’s southern border.

Insider Threats and Terrorist Attacks

Sonecon’s security practice is led by a former DoD Assistant Secretary for Homeland Defense and Americas’ Security Affairs. We know how to help executives meet new threats to their critical infrastructure and operations; for example:
  • Helps train senior military officers to develop plans, programs and procedures to improve installation security against terrorist attacks and insider threats (physical and cyber).
  • Provides policy and operational recommendations on how to build response and recovery capabilities against radiological hazards, in the United States and in partner countries.

Cyber Policy and Post-Attack Response

Sonecon experts understand the risks to critical infrastructure, from financial institutions to power grids, and how to make operations as resilient as possible; for example:
  • Analyzes emerging cyber threats to the grid, including persistent, adaptive attacks through remote access tools.
  • Assists clients to assess the physical effects of cyber-attacks on critical components of the power grid, including industrial control systems and other potential targets of attack.
  • Helps clients to assess current U.S. strategies and polices that establish requirements for cyber resilience, including Presidential Policy Directive 21.
  • Examines opportunities to strengthen current plans and coordination mechanisms to guide post-attack response operations by government agencies and industry partners, including the National Cyber Incident Response Plan and the National Response Framework.
  • Analyzes the potential requirements for the U.S. government to provide technical assistance to help utilities accelerate power restoration following cyber-attacks.

Business Continuity and Crisis Management

At the Department of Defense, Dr. Stockton was responsible for ensuring the continuity of DOD operations against all hazards. Sonecon helps U.S. and foreign companies update their continuity plans to stay ahead of emerging threats (including natural and manmade hazards). Specific areas of expertise to strengthen continuity of operations:
  • Analysis of emerging cyber threats to clients and the infrastructure on which their business operations depend.
  • Assess the vital business functions, mission requirements, and continuity priorities of a client that must be sustained during a cyber-attack and the initial responses.
  • Review the client’s existing continuity plans in light of current threats, including key areas vulnerable to business interruption during cyber response operations.
  • Analyze the potential impact of a business interruption for a client, including lost business, unplanned-for delays, stock price effects, and reputational damage.
  • Develop options to update the client’s continuity plans, exercises, and training programs.

Risk Assessments for Major Investments

Sonecon provides analysis and advice to executives of U.S. and foreign corporations weighing major foreign direct investments in South America, the Caribbean, and other regions. A few examples.
  • Analyze opportunities to assist Central American nations to strengthen their border security operations through the deployment of advanced sensor technologies and systems integration capabilities.
  • Assess the vulnerability of critical infrastructure on which extraction projects and other major investments depend with regard to cyber threats, severe natural hazards, and other emerging challenges.
  • Develop options to mitigate hazards to potential investments by accelerating the restoration of critical services to key facilities, including electricity and other services essential for continuity of operations.
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