Rita Foster | Energy Sector Infrastructure Security Strategic Advisor for the Critical Infrastructure Protection & Defense Systems Division at Idaho National Laboratory

Biography of Rita Foster, Energy Sector Infrastructure Security Strategic Advisor for the Critical Infrastructure Protection & Defense Systems Division at the Idaho National Laboratory

Rita Foster is the Energy Sector Infrastructure Security Strategic Advisor for the Critical Infrastructure Protection & Defense Systems Division at the Idaho National Laboratory.  Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano appointed her to the strategic advisory council on cyber skills in 2012. She has been nationally recognized for research leadership in control system cyber security (SANS Innovation Award 2011, SCADA Leadership Award 2009) and control systems development (White House’s “2001 Closing the Circle’” and Department of Energy (DOE) 2001 National P2 Pollution Prevention Award).  Her focus has been research direction for the cyber security in the electric sector including insights to all-hazard threats. She identifies strategy and direction of research, testing and assessment activities at the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) and control systems test beds and contributes in thought leadership. She has been invited to brief legislators, regulators (state and federal), and international policy makers on the cyber security issues with critical infrastructure (2015 TedXTalks Idaho Falls Power Internet).  Rita has worked with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, DHS, DOE, and industry, participated in military exercises as a subject matter expert for cyber security of control systems for 11 years.  She has worked at the lab for 25 years and has served as a technical lead for integrating control systems into a data management system for transuranic waste which resulted in three national awards for products developed and vision.  Her process control experience includes the training simulator for the advanced test reactor, HVAC for nuclear waste storage facilities, and command and control for military projects.  Prior to the lab, she worked for a university computer center responsible for their network infrastructure while getting her degree in Computer Information Systems from Idaho State University.