Sharing Expertise on HEMP/IEMI Protection

Page Principal Scott Tucker continues to share his expertise on HEMP/IEMI facility hardening, this time at Data Center World National Harbor, held in Baltimore on September 22. In addition to Scott, panelists included Michael Caruso of ETS-Lindgren Inc. and Frank Gaffney, founder of the Center for Security Policy. Earlier this year, Scott testified before a committee of the Maine State Legislature on how to protect buildings from damage by electromagnetic pulses.

According to the panelists, data center managers are recognizing Intentional Electromagnetic Interference (IEMI) and High Altitude Electromagnetic Pulse (HEMP), often referred to as EMP, as threats to resilient operations. This is especially a concern in data centers that support Critical Infrastructure Service Segments, such as utilities, as well as financial institutions managing sensitive data. Inexpensive devices assembled from off-the-shelf materials concealed in suitcases or vehicles can bring down a data center, sometimes causing permanent damage to sensitive electronic equipment. Nuclear proliferation, growing availability of drone aircraft with IEMI capability and terrorist/criminal awareness of commercially-available IEMI devices will undoubtedly make data center protection a long-term issue.

The expert panelists discussed how EMP can affect data centers and outlined three levels of protection. They also reviewed groundbreaking Federal legislation (Critical Infrastructure Protection Act or CIPA) requiring The Department of Homeland Security to address the protection of the Critical Infrastructure from geomagnetic solar storms and EMP. They discussed and provided examples of the availability of cost-effective and practical protective measures to reduce the vulnerability of data centers. 

To read more about the presentation in Data Center World, click here.