Control Systems Cybersecurity USA (8th annual live) Control Systems Cybersecurity USA (8th annual live)

Concept to Commissioned - A UK NG Case Study Implementing an Innovative Networking Solution called SEL OT SDN (Physical and Virtual)

Philip Tonkin (Virtual pres)
National Grid, Global Head of Cyber Operational Technology

Philip has worked in the energy business for over 20 years, working in a wide range of disciplines.  From field engineering to senior leadership positions, he has always been passionate about solving the challenges of digitising the energy supply industry.   Using an understanding of the systems used by the industry along with experience in making decisions as an asset manager, he has led a number of key projects to move forward the understanding of cyber threat.


Now as the OT leader within National Grid’s security team his focus is securing the operational technology that underpins the operation of National Grid’s trans atlantic businesses, from Gas Transmission to Electricity Generation.

Tim Watkins
Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Lead Application Engineer for Networks / Systems with focus in OT-SDN

Tim started his US Marine Corps career in avionics in 1993.  From the very beginning, he began implementing security controls to increase the resiliency of mission critical systems from humans.  He later finished his BS in college and subsequently graduated with an MSA from Central Michigan in International Leadership in 2010.  Additionally, he graduated at the top of his class in a master’s level Telecommunications and Systems Engineer Course from Fort Gordon in 2004. Following 20 years of DoD experience as a network and cyber engineer, Tim joined Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc in 2013. He is now a Lead Application Engineer focusing on securing critical control systems and designing defendable architectures for system owners around the world.  Tim concentrates on holistically looking at reducing risk at the enterprise and organization level.  He is focused on system solutions that allow customers to have greater visibility to mitigate and respond to detected events within their control systems.  Ultimately, his efforts will reduce risk, increase resilience, and mature SEL's best practices.  Ultimately, his expertise will prioritize efforts, increase resiliency, and mature system owner’s plans, policies, and procedures.  

There are plethora of incredible cyber risk reducing innovative solutions being brought to market.  This discussion will highlight the milestones required for an OT system owner and vendor to overcome in order to bring significant risk reducing solutions from innovation, to market, to implementation.  Operational Technology Software Defined Networking (OT SDN) will be the backdrop to this story line between UK NG and SEL.   


Topics to be discussed in order for innovation to be implemented:

  • Innovation requires acceptance into standards and frameworks 
  • Standard and frameworks require acceptance into regulation
  • Regulation is important for acquisition and to become added to specification and designs
  • Timing and funding become involved to put innovation into new or legacy projects
  • Innovation acceptance additionally involves training, education, experience, and cultural change  
  • Any innovation also requires careful consideration to not increase operational risk


All of the above compete with adversaries who use the time it take to move from innovation to implementation to find gaps and seams and weaknesses in these system before they are even deployed. This presentation will address ways to reduce the time between milestones to implement innovation faster and safer to ultimately reduce risk?