President Bush Appoints Atlanta CEO Council Member Greg Peters to National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC)
Greg Peters is looking forward to the challenges ahead as he’s been recently selected to join President Bush’ exclusive Advisory Council. Comprised of C-level executives from leading companies such as Cisco, eBay and Intel, Greg is in great company.
Greg and his fellow committee members-who are each now known as “A Special Employee of the Government”-have been appointed for an undefined term to advise on the special Presidential Council. Having the ability to counsel the president on matters related to the security of critical infrastructure is especially appealing to Greg, where as CEO of Internap (AMEX: IIP), he has a comprehensive understanding of the risks and vulnerabilities companies face on a daily basis from Internet based communications. Internap, a company that moved to the Atlanta area a couple of years ago from Seattle , is a provider of performance-based routing technology over the Internet and runs the network communications for many government clients.
The critical infrastructure that President Bush’ National Infrastructure Advisory Council is protecting includes systems such as transportation, electricity and communications that are vital to the nation. It also includes the public Internet, power grids, air-traffic-control systems and military and intelligence systems. Senior members from the government and academia also make up the 30-member panel. To help protect vulnerabilities and exposures of long-term IT infrastructure needs, the committee has focused on four main objectives.
• Increase federal support for fundamental research in civilian cybersecurity on an annual basis. This funding should specifically address the 10 high priority areas identified by the committee, including authentication, protocols governing the Internet’s operation and cyberforensics.
• Increased federal efforts to promote recruitment and retention of cybersecurity researchers and students at research universities. The goal is to double the number of professional’s by the end of the decade.
• Provide increased support for the rapid transfer of federally developed, cutting-edge cybersecurity technologies to the private sector. This committee found that cybersecurity technology transfer efforts aren’t adequate to successfully move the fruits of government research into private-sector practices and products.
• Improve the government’s ability to coordinate cybersecurity R&D. The committee recommends that the Interagency Working Group on critical information infrastructure protection become the focal point for coordinating federal cybersecurity R&D efforts.
“I’m one of three people representing the Atlanta community. We have a great talent pool in Atlanta – companies such as Internet Security Systems (ISS), BellSouth, Lucent, Earthlink and others – and I’m looking forward to helping drive education around the preventive measures businesses and consumers can take to protect against potential security threats.”
Before joining Internap, Greg held senior positions at AT&T Network systems and was in charge of operations, network communications and infrastructure for the Middle East and Africa . That experience and working knowledge of the key industry, cultural and historical issues have prepared Greg for his position on the Presidential Committee. In addition, Greg’s long-standing relationships with senior leaders in the technology community have provided him with a perspective of knowing what it takes to drive the process. “The leaders that I have the pleasure of working with have the connections and resources to immediately dig in and start making an impact. The work we are doing is very valuable and we have real challenges and dilemmas that we openly debate to determine what is the best decision to recommend to the President.”
One such decision is determining how far you go in regulating and monitoring the infrastructure. Should it be regulated? What does it mean to large and small businesses alike if it is regulated? Do you regulate like Sarbanes Oxley? These are just a few of the questions that the committee is debating and as you can imagine, the impact could be significant. How far do we go to feel secure? Today the Internet is comprised of 14,000 networks-of which these are not under direct control of the government.
Greg personally sees the advantages of regulating the Internet and moving to a more secure standards-based protocol. It may be required to protect future attacks but it has yet to be determined how it would all work. What is known is the country’s IT infrastructure is highly vulnerable to attack by terrorists and cybercriminals and the work that Greg and the senior team making up the Presidential Committee is driving should make us soon feel safe about network based communications and the physical infrastructure that we rely on.