System 1: Boutique Consultancy for Infrastructure Protection

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Ernest Wohnig, Senior Vice President and John M. Abeles, President & CEO
As a world-class critical infrastructure protection firm, System 1 has progressed from earning the trust of the White House and the Department of Commerce Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office to being a renowned consultancy that offers services in addressing the challenges around cybersecurity governance and risk management in major government organizations and industry-leading firms. “Our extensive corporate experience, spanning multiple industrial sectors, and expert staff, with cumulative centuries of cybersecurity experience, grew from working with a broad spectrum of organizations in terms of size and business model; all of which have unique critical infrastructures protection concerns,” says John M. Abeles, president and CEO of System 1. As noted by Senior Vice President, Ernest Wohnig, “The company’s core competencies lie in delivering strategic, future-focused advice, optimized governance and risk solutions, and cybersecurity program design assistance to our clients in the government and commercial sectors.”

“Critical infrastructure encompasses a large number of complex and interdependent challenges,” explains Abeles. Taking supply chain in the energy sector as an example, there are numerous functions, processes, vendors, and procurement chains that underpin power generation, transmission, and distribution. “The first requisite is to identify critical assets of the power grid and the key nexuses in supply chains that maintain those critical assets, thus ensuring the seamless functioning of the infrastructure. This reduces the problem, based on risk methodology, to a manageable challenge.” As a technology-agnostic consultancy, System 1 leverages a number of proprietary and industry-based methodologies, models, and standards such as NIST, C2M2, and ISO to deliver pioneering cybersecurity services to clients based on their enterprise ecosystems.

System 1 was borne from the energy sector understanding the protection of critical assets and functions.
They understand both information and operational technology and have been safeguarding the global infrastructure for over 25 years. Their innovative approaches are used industry-wide and have led to their expansion into many of the other infrastructure sectors including the financial and medical.

Drawing on a recent engagement, Wohnig recalls the efforts of a System 1 team conducting a critical infrastructure assessment for a Fortune 200 energy company. The firm was uncertain of which physical and digital assets were critical in terms of both its internal business operations and externally as key components of multiple nations’ energy infrastructures. Having established the support of the c-suite and the executive leaders of the various HQ functions and regional subsidiaries, System 1’s team engaged stakeholders across the client’s organization gaining key insights into the business’ operations and structure. Using these insights, the System 1 team identified factors and criteria unique to the client and their market, built an innovative model measure, established the critical assets that they held, the associated business impacts, and performed their audit program.

Both executives emphasize that System 1’s key success differentiator is its team of seasoned management and technical experts who have spent significant stints of their professional careers in the risk management and technical cybersecurity industries. Possessing extensive experience in the various cybersecurity and risk disciplines, System 1’s teams continue to deliver remarkable cybersecurity and infrastructure protection services, across industries and continents. Wohnig also takes pride in highlighting that System 1’s diverse set of experts develop innovative result-oriented solutions that minimize risk, optimize the organization’s cybersecurity governance and architecture, and ensure cost-effective yet secure business operations. All while accounting for the ever-accelerating rate of change and evolving risk in the CIP realm; exemplified by the rapid integration of AI, IoT, cloud infrastructures, and managed service models.

Company
System 1

Headquarters
North Bethesda, MD

Management
Ernest Wohnig, Senior Vice President and John M. Abeles, President & CEO

Description
System 1, Inc. is a cybersecurity and critical infrastructure security consulting firm, which advises business leaders in the federal & state government and critical infrastructure sectors. The company provides strategic advice, assistance, and solutions to its public and private sector clients. System 1’s competent team comprises management and technical experts who focus on advancement and change through the prism of people, processes, and technology; providing an integrated solution tailored to each client’s unique business risk tolerance, existing organizational risk management processes, and the evolving cybersecurity risk environment

System 1