Gem State Roundup

Gov. Little appoints task force to tackle cybersecurity, election security in Idaho

By: - August 5, 2021 4:03 pm
Gov. Brad Little

Gov. Brad Little serves as Idaho’s 33rd governor. (Courtesy of Brad Little)

A new task force will tackle issues of cybersecurity and election security in Idaho, according to a press release from Gov. Brad Little.

The governor’s Cybersecurity Task Force will provide recommendations to improve business, government and personal cybersecurity defenses and enhance the educational pipeline for cybersecurity workforce needs. It will identify cybersecurity assets, resources and public-private partnerships across Idaho, according to the release.

Little said he directed the task force to ensure Idaho’s election infrastructure remains secure, transparent and resilient from new and evolving threats. He said because the Gem State is home to the Idaho National Laboratory, the state is well positioned to counter online attacks and cybersecurity challenges. 

“We’ll need increased resources, partnerships and active collaboration between a broad range of organizations to successfully protect from ever-growing cybersecurity threats, and I’m confident my Cybersecurity Task Force is up to the task,” Little said in the release. “I’m also asking the task force to find new ways to protect Idaho’s election infrastructure, because fair and free elections are a hallmark of Idaho’s proud representative democracy and the expectation of every Idahoan.”

The group will also be tasked with finding ways to educate the public and businesses on cybersecurity threats.

Idaho Department of Commerce Director Tom Kealey and INL Associate Laboratory Director Zach Tudor will serve as co-chairmen for the task force.

The task force is comprised of private sector cybersecurity experts, including representatives from financial technology, network security and public utilities, as well as government officials, including representatives from INL, Office of Emergency Management and Office of Information Technology Services, and Idaho’s research universities, according to the press release. In addition, the task force includes three Idaho legislators.

The task force plans to meet four times between August and November and provide a set of recommendations to Little in early 2022.

The task force’s first meeting will be Aug. 19. Meeting details and other information about the task force are available at commerce.idaho.gov/cybersecurity.

Who is on Gov. Brad Little’s Cybersecurity Task Force?

  • Tom Kealey, Idaho Department of Commerce director
  • Zach Tudor, Associate laboratory director, National & Homeland Security, Idaho National Laboratory
  • Ben Ysursa, Former Idaho secretary of state
  • Brad Wiskirchen, Senior VP and general manager for Equifax
  • Frank Harrill, VP of security for Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories
  • Brad Richy, Idaho Office of Emergency Management director
  • Jeff Weak, State of Idaho Information Technology Services administrator
  • Ryan White, U.S. Senator Jim Risch’s chief of staff
  • George Mulhern, Cradlepoint CEO
  • Jeff Newgard, Bank of Idaho CEO and president
  • Lisa Grow, Idaho Power CEO and president
  • Anand Bahl, Chief information officer, CVP for Micron Technology         
  • Domini Clark, Blackmere Consulting CEO
  • Ed Vasko, Director of the Institute for Pervasive Cybersecurity at Boise State University     
  • Dr. Scott Snyder, Idaho State University dean of Science and Engineering
  • Toni Broyles, Special assistant to the president at the University of Idaho
  • Sen. Jim Woodward, District 1
  • Rep., Brooke Green, District 18
  • Rep. Dustin Manwaring, District 29

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site.

Christina Lords
Christina Lords

Christina Lords is the editor-in-chief of the Idaho Capital Sun and has been a professional journalist covering local and state government since graduating from the University of Idaho in 2009. A Pocatello native, Lords is a fifth-generation Idahoan who served as a reporter at the Moscow-Pullman Daily News and the Post Register in Idaho Falls and served as assistant editor for the Idaho Press in Nampa. She also led the Idaho Statesman in Boise for two years before turning to nonprofit journalism.

MORE FROM AUTHOR