About Us

About Us


System 1, Inc. was founded in 1989 with the recognition that information is a global commodity that drives business competiveness and national stature. From information and infrastructure protection in the utility sector, to winning support of the White House and Department of Commerce Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office (CIAO) leading up to Y2K, System 1, Inc. earned renown as a boutique consultancy creating proactive solutions for assurance and resilience in infrastructure protection. From its inception, System 1, Inc. has since expanded its services in all areas of cybersecurity governance, such as design, implementation, assessment, and improvement, to support major North American energy providers, U.S. Federal Departments, State Government, and industry leading organizations. We provide strategic, future focused advising, assistance, and solutions to our clients. Our team provides high-impact, cost effective strategies through an innovative portfolio of services based on extensive functional experience and sector involvement.

Mission Statement

Cybersecurity has been recognized by executive leadership as a primary risk to our critical infrastructures and businesses. System 1, Inc. is a change agent that collaborates with its partners and clients to formulate improved approaches to manage and secure information.

  • We foster change and encourage a learning environment for the government, academia, and the private sector.
  • We integrate cost-effective risk management into mission achievement through innovative teams, improved processes and evolving technology.
  • We use national standards and best practices to streamline the safeguarding of information and the protection of our critical infrastructure.
  • We understand the need to balance security and personal privacy.


John Abeles – President and CEO

Mr. John Abeles is a management and technology visionary, specializing in infrastructure security, cybersecurity, and process engineering. He has over 30 years of experience in the commercial and Federal energy sector, both domestically and internationally. He is the Founder, President, and CEO of System 1, Inc., and a leader in management, critical infrastructure, and security consulting. 

Mr. Abeles’ Federal support has ranged from executive levels at the White House to various Cabinet level agencies, National laboratories, and academic institutions. He has built multi-state solutions linking the Government, law enforcement, first responders, and the private sector. Mr. Abeles is an author and speaker, and has been featured in the media, developing industry standards, and publications. He implements processes and educates at the executive level to reduce organization risk and increase intra-organizational communication. 

As the CEO of System 1, Inc., Mr. Abeles developed policy-level best practices for Federal organizations such as the National Institute of Standards, Department of Energy, Department of the Treasury, Department of Interior, and Department of Commerce. His seamless integration of risk management leads to more cost-effective solutions. In today’s environment, Mr. Abeles emphasizes the integration of cybersecurity as a foundational cornerstone of organizational risk at the CEO or executive leadership level.

Prior to founding System 1, Inc., Mr. Abeles provide management and technical services to the utility sector. He brought his expertise on energy and utilities to the public sector. He has helped global consultancies such as Impell (ABB) and NuTech with clients domestically, in Europe, and the Pacific Rim. He then worked for a number of smaller firms where he improved the performance of electric utilities. Mr. Abeles has a Masters from Cornell University and is a Certified Chief Information Security Officer (C|CISO).

Ernest Wohnig – Senior Vice President

Mr. Wohnig is an internationally recognized cyber security and assurance leader having written, presented, and advised senior corporate and federal leadership on security and assurance issues across the energy sector and to the federal government for over 20 years. As a veteran executive he is called upon by high-performing organizations for his ability to achieve, integrate, and drive deep corporate business objectives in the face of globalized competition, rapid technological advances, rapid social/demographic change, and increased sophistication of cyber adversaries. Mr. Wohnig has advised clients across several industries, helping them understand their risk posture and to develop proactive security strategies and programs resulting in clear alignment of security investments to business value. Mr. Wohnig is one of the key figures shaping the discussion and practice of cyber security in the critical infrastructure and industrial control system arenas.

Prior to joining the private sector, Mr. Wohnig served as an Air Force Intelligence Officer and worked as a Network Security Analyst for the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). During his tenure at DIA he authored principle portions of National Intelligence Estimates and IC position papers on cyber and security threats to critical infrastructure systems. Mr. Wohnig also briefed senior federal leaders in the Senate, State Department, and Joint Staff regarding cyber threats to the U.S. military and civilian infrastructure and was responsible for DIA coordination and leadership of community assessments related to East Asia. For his efforts during this time, Mr. Wohnig was awarded a National Intelligence Council Medallion.

As an Air Force Intelligence Officer Mr. Wohnig served seven years leading classified programs and special detachments in the areas of Information Warfare and Information Operations including operational intelligence activities as well as command level combat and readiness exercises.

Ari Ghosal – General Counsel

Mr. Ghosal has diversified business practice experience, not only representing clients with a broad spectrum of general corporate legal matters, but also providing legal representation to clients in more specialized areas such as government contracts, employment law, and intellectual property and technology. He has served as outside general counsel to various corporations, small businesses, government contractors, technology professionals, and other business owners to assist them with corporate formation, joint ventures, contract review, corporate governance issues, sale of businesses, employment matters, compliance programs and regulatory concerns. Mr. Ghosal has represented clients on computer and internet law matters involving website audits, domain name and ecommerce issues. Equally significant, Mr. Ghosal has represented clients in a variety of legal disputes in all phases of civil litigation before state and federal courts, as well as in arbitration and mediation proceedings in state and federal courts and before the American Arbitration Association.

Mr. Ghosal is a “people’s lawyer,” not only in his unwavering commitment to support his clients and provide them with the most efficient and cost-effective solutions to their legal matters, but also in his commitment and dedication to give back to the community and legal profession. He is a recipient of the Montgomery County Bar Foundation’s Andrew L. Sonner Excellence in Diversity Award in 2017. He is a member of the Bar Association of Montgomery County, Diversity Committee and the Summer Scholars Program and he also serves as President of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Maryland (APABA-MD) for the 2019-2020 term. Mr. Ghosal has served as a member of the Peer Review Committee of the Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland from 2010 to the present. He serves on the Character Committee for the 7th Circuit of the Court of Appeals for the Maryland Bar. Finally, Mr. Ghosal serves as an At-Large Member on the MSBA’s Business Law Section.

Mr. Ghosal has been named a CPA & ESQ Awards Finalist by Washington SmartCEO Magazine;
Named a “Power Player” Finalist by Washington SmartCEO magazine (2014, 2015);

Named to the “Hot List” Lawyers of Color (2013) Mr. Ghosal received his B.S. degree from the University of Maryland, his M.A. degree from American University and his J.D. from the Columbus School of Law at Catholic University, where he served as a Staff Editor on the Catholic University Law Review. He is currently admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and Maryland.