FIRST expands its leadership team

The Forum of Incident Response and Security Team (FIRST) has elected a new chair and appointed a new cyber security expert to its Board of Directors.

Bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience, current board member Tracy Bills was chosen as the new chair for the internationally recognised global leader in incident response.

Tracy is a Senior Cybersecurity Operations Researcher at the CERT/CC Division of Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute (SEI). She has over 25 years of combined experience in cybersecurity and intelligence analysis and has helped build and mature national-level cybersecurity information sharing programs. She has worked extensively to assist both public and private computer security incident response teams (CSIRTs) and security operations centers (SOCs) to develop, implement, and refine effective processes.

Currently, her focus is on helping national-level CSIRTs build capabilities and capacity. Tracy has been involved with FIRST since 2014, serving on the Membership Committee and various Special Interest Groups, engaging in the Fellowship Program, and now leading the organisation as chair of the Board of Directors.

On being appointed the new FIRST Chair, Tracy said: “It is with both privilege and great responsibility I accept the role of chair of FIRST’s Board of Directors. FIRST has played an integral part of my own career journey in cybersecurity and, as we continue to face challenging times, I look forward to working with members at the forefront of increasing pressure from threats and attacks – on a global scale.”

“We have over 679 member teams from 105 countries and counting. This week we have seen first-hand in Montréal the passion for continuous learning and skill development from teams defending systems world-wide. There is a true understanding that the more united we are the more successful we will be,” Bills added.

“Our organization is uniquely placed to lead on, and facilitate the necessary collaboration of knowledge, strategy, and skill to defend our systems against ongoing malicious activity,” said Bills.

“Our members have proven time and time again their resilience and agility, even during the most insurmountable of challenges. The FIRST Board will champion diversity across our sector, and I look forward to strengthening our collective response to cybersecurity, bringing members together through our activities and outreach, and further contributing to FIRST’s continuous growth and success,” Bills continued.

New addition to the FIRST Board of Directors

Carlos Alvarez is ICANN’s Director of Trust and Public Safety Engagement and leads ICANN’s global engagement with the trust and public safety communities (law enforcement, national cyber security centers, incident response teams, cyber threat intelligence, and operational security).

His portfolio includes trust-groups, national/defense/police response teams, and organizations like the Messaging, Malware and Mobile Anti-Abuse Working Group (M3AAWG), the Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams (FIRST), the National Cyber Forensics and Training Alliance (NCFTA), and the Global Cyber Alliance, among others.

Carlos is a former co-chair of M3AAWG’s Anti-Phishing Special Interest Group and is a founder and co-chair of M3AAWG’s Names and Numbers Committee. Also, he is a co-founder of the DNS Abuse Special Interest Group at FIRST.

He is an attorney graduated from the Universidad de los Andes in Bogota. He holds a Master of Laws degree from the University of Southern California Gould School of Law and has studies on networking with TCP/IP from UCLA.

Headed by Tracy, Carlos joins FIRST’s existing Board, Serge Droz (Liaison), Michael Hausding (SWITCH CERT), and FIRST CFO, Mona Elisabeth Østvang (mnemonic IRT), Yukako Uchida (JPCERT/CC), Désirée Sacher-Boldewin (Liaison), Olivier Caleff (Liaison), Trey Darley (Accenture), and Audrey Mnisi (Ghana Association of Banks – CERT/GH).

Each member brings a wealth of expertise and acumen, not to mention a global reach, to help FIRST work towards keeping the internet safe for all.

Chris Gibson, FIRST CEO, said, “We continue to grow our membership year on year, which is testament to the hard work of many on this Board and previous Boards. As is very evident at this year’s conference in Montréal, the entire cyber security and incident response sector believes collaboration and working together is the key to make the internet a safer place for all.”

“As cyberattacks and security incidents continue to rise the experts, many that have gathered at our conference this year in Canada, are working tirelessly to thwart every threat. I have no doubt Tracy will continue to lead the Board of Directors, propelling us all forward with a united approach. I very much look forward to working with her and the rest of the Board over the coming year,” Gibson continued.

FIRST is extremely grateful for Sherif Hashem’s invaluable contribution as chair of the Board last year and looks forward to working with Sherif on future projects over the coming years.

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