A security consultant spoke at the annual meeting of the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives Thursday in Des Moines. Consultant Karl Seger says the security improvements he recommends now for Iowa utilities aren’t revolutionary even in the wake of the September 11th attacks. He says the security changes are the same he’d recommend before September 11th, although the threat is a little higher now. While the threat of Middle Eastern terrorists is probably top of mind for most Iowans — Seger says the threat is stronger in the larger cities than it is here. He says Iowa companies have to think more about domestic threats.He says they have to address terrorism from animal rights groups, ecoterrorists and other extremists groups in the midwest. He says the goods news is that the added security isn’t that costly for the utilities.Seger says the security upgrades often includes new locks and gates around key areas, or security cameras. He says the costs don’t go up until a high national security level forces utilities to hire armed guards. Seger says the utilities also need to look at safeguarding their computer systems to prevent someone from outside from hacking in and shutting down systems.
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