Richard Pethia manages the CERT Program, focusing on improving both the practices and understanding of security and survivability issues relating to critical information infrastructures. The program goal is to ensure that system developers and operators use appropriate technology and systems management practices to recognize, resist, and recover from attacks on networked systems. The program draws heavily on the security incident and vulnerability data gained from its CERT Coordination Center (CERT/CC) to further applied research and development efforts. The SEI has operated the CERT/CC since 1988, providing a central response and coordination facility for global information security incident response and countermeasures for threats and vulnerabilities.
Prior to joining the SEI, Pethia was director of engineering at Decision Data Computer Company, where he was responsible for engineering functions and resource management in support of new product development. He also was manager of operating systems development for Modular Computer Corporation. While there he led development efforts focused on real-time operating systems, networks, and other system software in the application areas of industrial automation, process control, data acquisition, and telecommunications.
Pethia has testified before U.S. House and Senate committees and the Pennsylvania Legislature on Internet and e-commerce security issues, cyber-defense, the effects of computer viruses, and possible actions to prevent future viruses from impacting networks. He has also made presentations on computer security and computer crime to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Justice, and Interpol. In 2003, he was named SEI fellow for his work in security and survivability.