The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency on Wednesday named members to a new cyber advisory panel that will make recommendations on subjects ranging from battling misinformation to gaining aid from the hacker community on national cyber defense.
Among the 23 members selected are leaders from social media, cybersecurity companies, major technology firms and critical infrastructure sectors such as finance and energy. It includes officials from Johnson & Johnson and Walmart, as well as a longtime cybersecurity journalist and the mayor of Austin, Texas.
“We’re at a pivotal moment in our history — one that demands we think anew about ensuring the security and resilience of our digital infrastructure in the face of increasingly sophisticated cyber threats,” said CISA Director Jen Easterly, whose agency is a part of the Department of Homeland Security. “I look forward to partnering with these distinguished leaders from across industry, academia, and government to tackle some of the most pressing issues of our time.”
The panel springs from the most recently enacted annual defense policy bill, which amounted to perhaps the most significant cybersecurity legislation ever passed. Like much of what was included in that legislation, the new advisory committee represented a recommendation from the Cyberspace Solarium Commission.
New York Rep. John Katko, the top Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee, had long advocated for such a panel.
In introducing legislation on the subject in 2019, he said his bill “takes steps towards equipping the agencies within the Department of Homeland Security with the necessary tools to respond to evolving cyber threats. By creating a Cybersecurity Advisory Committee, we can facilitate a vital dialogue between public and private partners and better secure the U.S.”
Bylaws for the committee published in July said it would address subjects like critical infrastructure protection, information sharing, risk management and public-private partnerships. Wednesday’s announcement added potential subjects like the cyber workforce and disinformation. Its first meeting is Dec. 10.
The by-laws include a prohibition on lobbyists and restrictions on using their access to solicit business.
The defense bill that established the panel authorized up to 35 members. The members announced Wednesday were:
Austin Mayor Steve Adler; Marene Allison of Johnson & Johnson; Lori Beer of JPMorgan Chase; Robert Chesney of the Texas School of Law; Southern Company CEO Thomas Fanning; Vijaya Gadde from Twitter; University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Patrick Gallagher; Ronald Green of Mastercard; Niloofar Razi Howe, a board member at Tenable; Mandiant CEO Kevin Mandia; Jeff Moss, president of DEF CON Communications; Nuala O’Connor of Walmart; Nicole Perlroth, a cybersecurity reporter who recently announced her departure from The New York Times; Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince; Ted Schlein of Kleiner Perkins and Caufield & Byers; Stephen Schmidt of Amazon Web Services; Suzanne Spaulding from the Center for Strategic and International Studies; Alex Stamos of Krebs Stamos Group; Kate Starbird, from the University of Washington; George Stathakopoulos from Apple; Illinois Emergency Management Agency Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau; Nicole Wong of NWong Strategies; and Chris Young of Microsoft.