Marianne Meins, Parsons
Marianne Meins is vice president of critical infrastructure protection strategy at Parsons, where she has worked for the past three years. With more than 25 years’ experience working with cybersecurity research and development, Meins has held leadership positions at numerous technology companies.
At Parsons, she is involved in infrastructure protection, including sectors such as energy, transportation, health and government facilities. She spearheads the company’s converged security offering by providing an innovative framework for securing control systems, including the innovations that span them all — namely smart cities and intelligent transportation systems. Meins is active in the local community and serves as a CIP adviser to Capitol Technology University and on the executive advisory board of George Mason University’s Computer Game Design Program and the Virginia Serious Game Institute. In addition, she is an active thought leader in discussions around STEM education and infrastructure protection.
Why watch: Meins’ more than two-decades-long passion for protecting critical infrastructure places her in a prime position to provide leadership now that cybersecurity is a “must-have” for government and commercial enterprises. Meins is on the cutting edge of American industry’s response to the demand for technology-based solutions to evolving infrastructure threats.
“We’re seeing the demand for infrastructure protection as very strong right now,” Meins said, explaining Parsons takes a holistic approach to protection by considering issues around people, process and technology. “Arguably, one of the most newsworthy issues of late is the threat to our cyber-enabled industrial control systems (ICS) within our nation’s critical infrastructure.”
Parsons recently released the findings of a survey of ICS and operational technology engineers within U.S. critical infrastructure facilities. The survey revealed a lack of integration of OT and IT professionals within the organizations and models for assuring resilience to cybersecurity attacks that do not reflect a fully converged OT/IT approach.
“The biggest area where we see growth potential is in cyber-physical converged security and securing facility-related industrial control systems and the ever-expanding internet of things,” she said. “The interesting thing here is the control systems are being modernized without modernizing the OT security lifecycle to keep pace with its IT security peer.”
Thanks to Meins and Parsons’ federal team’s work, the corporation will soon roll out its CIP product. And over the next year, Meins expects to realize the benefits of the product rollout, as well as Parsons’ recent acquisition of cybersecurity and national security focused firm Polaris Alpha, the latest in the company’s series of strategic investments focused on companies with technologies aligned to evolving threats in all the domains. Prior to acquiring Polaris Alpha, Parsons acquired Williams Electric Co., which has become integrated into Parsons’ holistic approach to security.
“We have substantial expertise in infrastructure engineering through our design/build/protect role with clients and across the company we have so many technology-driven opportunities to provide Critical Infrastructure Protection: Defending against physical and cyber threats while ensuring safety, reliability and resiliency,” she said.
Meins will continue to play a key role in the CIP domain as government leaders emphasize the need to strengthen U.S. critical infrastructure security and resilience posture.