INL News Release
December 12, 2007

INL Media Contact: Ethan Huffman, (208) 526-0660

Idaho National Laboratory employee on commission to advise next U.S. president on cyber security

Idaho National Laboratory employee Michael Assante has been asked to serve on a 31-member commission advising the next U.S. president about ways to enhance cyber security in the United States. The official announcement came last month from Rep. James Langevin, the Rhode Island congressman who chairs the U.S. House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, CyberSecurity and Science and Technology.

The Commission on Cyber Security for the 44th Presidency will examine existing plans and strategies to assess what a new administration should continue, what it should change and which new policies should be adopted or new authorities sought from Congress. Issues for consideration will include infrastructure protection, software assurance, federal agency cyber security, and information security initiatives in both the public and private sectors. The group’s recommendations will be presented to the newly elected president in January 2009.

Langevin and Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas will co-chair the commission along with former National Security Agency Director Admiral Bobby Inman and Microsoft Vice President Scott Charney. Assante will be joined by a host of government and industry cyber security experts from organizations including Oracle, Verizon Communications and the FBI.

“I am honored and excited to serve on the commission and will work hard to identify critical steps the next president can take to enhance the security and prosperity of the United States,” Assante said. “The commission is convened at a time when our nation is at an important crossroads, challenged by the need to balance information security with productivity and public safety.”

Assante joined INL in 2005 from American Electric Power, where he served as vice president and chief security officer. Since joining the laboratory, Assante has worked to improve cyber security for the nation’s critical infrastructure systems. In 2006, he teamed up with the SANS Institute and the New York Office of Cyber Security and Critical Infrastructure Protection to develop procurement guidelines for utility executives seeking to implement stronger cyber security measures in their operating systems. He has also worked to raise international awareness with U.S. ally nations about infrastructure cyber security.



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