UtiliSec was established in 2009 by Darren Highfill as a consultancy focused on the cybersecurity and resiliency requirements of electric power delivery systems – and specifically, field deployed utility systems. Justin Searle joined as a Managing Partner in 2011, bringing a highly complimentary focus of penetration testing for smart grid systems and components. UtiliSec frequently partners with other leaders in electric power cybersecurity, and has a substantial pool of highly specialized, experienced, and proven resources available for project deployment.
Justin Searle is a Managing Partner of UtiliSec, where he helps utilities, vendors, and government understand the impact of technical, architectural, and procedural decisions on the security and resiliency of the electric grid. He is widely recognized in the industry as having a rare combination of deep technical talent and outstanding people skills, with a strong grasp of how all the pieces fit in the bigger picture of policy, architecture, and organizational structure.
Mr. Searle specializes in the penetration testing of web applications, networks, and control systems, especially those pertaining to the Energy Sector and the Smart Grid. He led the Smart Grid Security Architecture group in the creation of NIST Interagency Report 7628 and currently plays key roles in the Advanced Security Acceleration Project for the Smart Grid (ASAP-SG), National Electric Sector Cybersecurity Organization Resources (NESCOR), and Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP). Mr. Searle has taught courses in hacking techniques, forensics, networking, and intrusion detection for multiple universities, corporations, and security conferences, and is currently an instructor for the SANS Institute. In addition to electric power industry conferences, he frequently presents at top security conferences such as Black Hat, DEFCON, OWASP, and AusCERT. Mr. Searle co-leads prominent open source projects including the Samurai Web Testing Framework, Middler, Yokoso!, and Laudanum.