Cyberwarfare is an ‘existential threat’ to America’s financial sector and power grids: Southern Company CEO

By Cyber SecurityFOXBusiness

Cyber-warfare is an ‘existential threat’ to national security: Southern Company CEO

Southern Company Chairman and CEO Tom Fanning explains why he believes that cyber-warfare represents one of the biggest existential threats to national security in the U.S.

Protecting the nation’s power grid from cyberattacks is a major priority for utility companies.

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Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning tells FOX Business' Maria Bartiromo that cyberwarfare has a significant impact to the country’s national security.

“When you think about this existential threat, we have to understand that electricity doesn’t reside in its own silo and that if something happens to us, it would have a cataclysmic effect potentially on finance,” he said on Friday. “Telecom is inextricably intertwined with our response so those three industries pulled together and we’ve joined a threat matrix. In other words: what are the threats, how likely are they, and what consequence would they have if they were brought to bear on American commerce.”

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Fanning is joining forces with the Department of Homeland Security and created the Tri-Sector Executive Working Group with the electric, financial industry and telecomm sectors to secure America’s data and the electrical grid.

“We get attacked millions of times a day,” he said on Maria “Bartiromo’s Wall Street.”

A report from the Environmental Protection Agency’s inspector general lists combatting cyber threats is as one of the agency’s biggest challenges in 2018. Democratic lawmakers have introduced environmental legislation to combat climate change in the New Green Deal and abolish the EPA over its support for fossil fuels.

Fanning said he believes in former U.S. Secretary of Energy Dr. Ernest Moniz's coined phrase, the “Green Real Deal,” which is an opportunity for the country to position itself in becoming a generation that includes a dominant solution involving nuclear power, and dealing with 20th century coal and gas which he says is an important resource for America.

“All of those things have to be brought to bear. The other thing that must happen is an investment in not rhetoric but solutions.  And that is what Southern Company is all about,” he said.

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Southern Company services the power needs of more than 9 million customers nationwide and it’s the country’s second largest utility company in the U.S. through its various subsidiaries like Georgia Power, Southern Company Gas and Gulf Power Company.

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