End Users '20 under 40' 2016—Cliff Hufnagle

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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Cliff Hufnagle, 35

Manager of infrastructure security, NV Energy

Las Vegas

Clifford Hufnagle said that at NV Energy both physical- and cyberattacks pose challenges.

“Right now … our biggest security challenge is protecting the physical structure of our sites,” he said. “That’s our main focus now, to prevent or deter or stop an active shooter from being able to affect our systems.” In the future, cyberattacks could be the biggest physical security challenge, he said.

Ensuring NV Energy’s physical security means protecting the gas grids of Northern Nevada, electrical grids across the entire state, covering 40,000 square miles of service area, securing more than 250 substations and protecting seven outer lying districts and two Reno-based offices, according to Hufnagle.

NV Energy covers more than one million customers, he said, including residential, commercial and casinos.

Hufnagle said that his military experience inspired him to enter the security space. He left the military in 2003 and joined NV Energy in 2004. “I started off as an armed security officer, and over the years worked my way up.” Last year he was promoted to his current position, he said.

“When I first took over as a security systems tech, we had entirely too many [different systems]. So, I worked toward getting things consolidated on to essentially one platform, which ended up being our access control system,” Hufnagle said. “Everything basically goes back to that system.”

Having the company’s systems report back into one system, which allows guards in the security operations center to deal with a single interface, makes both training and response easier, he said.

Hufnagle said that he’s been impressed with the recent improvement of analytic systems, and is looking into ground-based radar technologies to better secure facilities’ perimeter and just outside of the perimeter.