POLL: Security officers expect another blackout in 12 months

August 25, 2003 - CSO Magazine polled 382 chief security officers (CSO) and senior security executives showed 59% blamed the electric industry and not the government for the blackout of 2003.

CSOs showed their lack of confidence in the power industry and grid with 59% predicting another major blackout within 12 months. Over three-quarters said they doubt the electric industry will be modernized in five years. That percentage want a probe by an independent investigator without ties to the industry.  Almost half (47%) ask that the probe's results be classified to keep terrorists from learning about US vulnerabilities.

Those surveyed included 156 whose firms felt some direct impact of the outage. Many want the federal government to expand oversight of the electric industry. "Regulations are often regarded as the necessary evil in securing the nation's infrastructure," said Lew McCreary, editor of the Framingham, Mass, publication, but he was surprised that CSOs -- traditionally anti-regulation -- are calling for increased government control in this industry, "having now been faced with a glaring example of so-called market forces at work," the editor cleverly observed.

The magazine did the survey online Aug 19-21, having sent an email invitation to the web-based survey to 12,200 subscribers.  The 382 are the ones that met qualifications and fully completed the survey.  The sample was chosen randomly and each subscriber had an equal probability of being selected.  Figure a 5% margin of error, the magazine said.

Results are at www.csoonline.com/releases/08220385_release.html (Story originally published in Restructuring Today 8/25/03).