A White House-mandated cybersecurity organization created to combine knowledge and experience from the public and private sectors added a new leader this week whose background includes stops on both sides.
Kiersten Todt, former president and managing partner of consulting firm Liberty Group Ventures, will serve as director of the Commission on Enhancing Cybersecurity announced in February to fulfill an executive order that called for a national cyber defense strategy.
She joins a leadership team that includes former White House national security adviser Tom Donilon and retired IBM CEO Sam Palmisano, who will respectively serve as chairman and vice chairman of the NIST-backed commission.
At Liberty Group Ventures, Todt advised public, private and nonprofit sector clients on risk strategiesfor the cyber arena and other areas such as infrastructure and homeland security.
Her government service tenure includes time as a staff member for the Senate Homeland Security Committee, where she helped draft the cybersecurity and infrastructure-related components of legislation that created the Department of Homeland Security.
The Commerce Department, NIST’s parent agency, announced Todt’s appointment in a week that saw cybersecurity become a topic of prominence again with one guilty plea and an indictment in federal courts over hacks on military technical information and critical infrastructure.
A Chinese national faces a five-year prison sentence for his role in an attack that stole information related to U.S. fighter jets, while seven Iranians were indicted over attempts to breach U.S. financial sector networks and a NYC region-based dam.
These and other incidents like the OPM hack sure to figure in the eventual 12-member commission’s agenda as it works on the national cyber strategy and ways to merge public and private sector expertise.
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