Delivering state-wide oversight for critical national infrastructure in the US


In the 15 years since 9/11, the United States of America has undergone massive change and overhauled its approach to risk and protection programmes for critical national infrastructure projects. 

The Department of Homeland Security has defined 16 sectors as fundamental to economic security and maintaining the American way of life, giving them ‘important to protect’ status. With that status comes an expectation of security programmes designed to guard and defend against threats.

Michael Bruecks, the founder of Black Site International LLC, chose HawkSight Software powered by Esri to underpin a vulnerability review in one such ‘important to protect sector’ - water and wastewater.

He was commissioned by one of the country's largest corporate suppliers of water and wastewater services to deliver a state-wide security risk analysis of its business. Michael used the award-winning software’s powerful reporting tools to provide complete oversight of their vulnerabilities to the board, illustrate the risk mitigation options available and ultimately enable them to start taking strategic decisions.

“HawkSight Software is the risk management programme I’ve wanted to create all my professional life,” explains Black Site’s Michael Bruecks.  “Fortunately, someone has now taken the time to bring the logic and methodology used by professional security consultants into a single platform which calculates risk based on the ISO31000 Risk Management Guidelines.

“The software has been fundamental to my ability to communicate not only how you undertake a risk assessment, but to demonstrate that it’s not only the risk itself but the severity of that risk, which is hugely important – it is the starting line for any process of mitigation.

“It has allowed me to outline complex scenarios to the board in a way that didn't require them to have an in-depth understanding of security risk management. In turn, my clients have loved the reporting functionality of HawkSight Software and the fact that they have visibility on how you get from ‘a to z’ in a security risk assessment. 

“The fact that the systems matrices then allow you to run live comparative simulations to evaluate the impact of different risk mitigation measures means that they can begin to make fully informed decisions. 

"When working to mitigate risk, the budget is always a consideration, so having a complete grasp of the bigger picture and the ability to model how to best mitigate their risk by deploying limited resources to optimal effect is essential for any business. 

“This project was about arming the board with the information they need to understand the risks they faced and then support strategic decision making to make the changes they need state-wide. HawkSight Software has delivered that in spades and I fully expect, will continue to do so as my clients progress their security risk mitigation and management programme in the future – my clients have been empowered through this process.”

Michael Bruecks is the founder of Black Site International LLC. He has extensive experience in developing and improving advanced security protection programs in the nuclear sector and is expanding his work to other sectors with ‘important to protect status’. Regarded as an industry leader and security subject matter expert he has participated in numerous national security working groups helping shaping industry standards and policies.  


HawkSight SRM becomes ASIS International Preferred CPE Provider

HawkSight SRM’s Security Risk Assessment Methodology eLearning has been recognised by ASIS as part of its Continuing Professional Education (CPE) programme. Successful completion of the eLearning certificate carries 5 CPE points from ASIS.