PROVIDENCE - Tying into a prominent theme of the National Governors Association (NGA) Summer Meeting, the Rhode Island Governor's Homeland Security Advisory Board (HSAB) held its first meeting last Wednesday to discuss the future of the state's homeland and cybersecurity initiatives.
"I participated in many discussions on cybersecurity and resiliency with my colleagues across the nation last week, and one thing is clear: Rhode Island is moving in the right direction on helping to protect our citizens and infrastructure from the complex threats that exist today," said Governor Gina M. Raimondo.
Established by Governor Raimondo's Executive Order 17-05, the HSAB is charged with advising on the development and implementation of a comprehensive statewide strategy to secure Rhode Island from both universal and localized threats with a focus on cybersecurity and terrorism; improving statewide executive branch cybersecurity, skills training, risk management, and technology deployment; and developing a framework for establishing a Rhode Island-based National Cyber Center of Excellence. The Board will pay particular attention to the implementation of recommendations that the Rhode Island Cybersecurity Commission (RICC) made at the completion of its work in 2015.
Scott DePasquale - known for his leadership of the RICC - serves as the chairman of the Board. DePasquale is the president of the Financial Systemic Analysis and Resilience Center (FSARC), a long-term strategic initiative founded by eight leading U.S. banks, focused on identifying, assessing, analyzing and mitigating the most significant cybersecurity risks that could cause systemic harm to infrastructure underpinning the U.S. financial sector.
Working alongside DePasquale are Advisory Board members:
-Kiersten Todt: managing partner, Liberty Group Ventures, and Presidential Commission on Enhancing National Security member. Todt headed up President Obama's National Cybersecurity Commission at the White House, which helped carry out the President's Cybersecurity National Action Plan. The plan strengthened cybersecurity in both the public and private sectors while protecting privacy and maintaining public safety.
-Michael Brown: current vice president and general manager, Global Public Sector, RSA, and former Department of Homeland Security deputy assistant secretary for cybersecurity and communications. His senior positions in the U.S. Navy include director of Information Operations and deputy director of Naval Intelligence for Cryptology for the chief of naval operations, in addition to various senior position at the National Security Agency (NSA).
-Michael Daly: chief technology officer, Raytheon IIS & Special Missions; Daly has worked in the cyber security arena since 1986. He has held several positions at Raytheon since 1996, including chief information security officer and Raytheon's director for Cyber Sciences and Technology Centers.
-Diana Hassel: associate dean of Academic Affairs, Roger Williams University Law School; Prior to joining RWU's faculty, she served as an assistant United States attorney for the southern district of New York. There, she represented the United States in various aspects of civil litigation.
-Sarah Morgenthau: managing director, Nardello and Co.; Morgenthau has also served as the Department of Homeland Security's deputy assistant secretary for the Department's Private Sector Office, where she oversaw the strategic process of building interagency, public and private sector relationships.
During its first meeting, the Board heard from leaders in Rhode Island's emergency management, health, utility, information technology, and public safety communities about the state of homeland and cybersecurity.
"I look forward to working with the Governor, her Cabinet and our outstanding group of highly experienced board members to support the implementation of recommendations that the Rhode Island Cybersecurity Commission made in 2015, and to work more broadly toward driving a more resilient and secure Rhode Island," said Chairman DePasquale. "The new Homeland Security Advisory Board will address the integrated nature of the threat to our Homeland and the State of Rhode Island in the 21st century. We are fortunate to have board members with a diverse background from senior leadership roles in academia, the defense sector, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the White House and U.S. Cyber Command."
Governor Raimondo also signed onto the "Compact to Improve State Cybersecurity" last week, joining 37 governors across the United States and reaffirming her commitment to combat cyber and homeland security threats.
"Much of the work this compact talks about is already under way here in Rhode Island," said Mike Steinmetz, Rhode Island's first cybersecurity officer and principal advisor for homeland security. "It is critical that we work together with our state partners and with national resources in the intelligence, public safety and information technology communities to enhance our resiliency."