RealTime IT News

Former Cyber Security Chief to Head CIA Unit

Former U.S. cyber security chief Amit Yoran is the new president and CEO of In-Q-Tel, the CIA's independent venture capital arm.

Yoran, 35, took over the job last week, replacing Gilman Louie, who resigned to start a new venture capital firm in the San Francisco Bay Area. Gilman ran In-Q-Tel since its inception in 1999.

In-Q-Tel's mission is to identify and invest in companies developing technologies that serve American national security interests.

"In-Q-Tel is the critical link between emerging technology and the vital national security demands of intelligence," Yoran said in a statement. "Now more than ever, we must deliver the tools that the men and women of the intelligence community need to protect our country at home and around the world."

In 2003, Yoran was appointed as Director of the National Cyber Security Division at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, where he was responsible for information sharing and managing national and global initiatives to thwart computer network attacks.

In October 2004, Yoran resigned as the nation's cyber security chief, becoming the third person in two years to quit the post. Early in his career, Yoran oversaw the Vulnerability Assessment Program within the Computer Emergency Response Team at the Department of Defense.

A local Washington area entrepreneur, Yoran in 1998 co-founded Riptech, a venture-backed network security firm. Four years later, Symantec bought Tiptech for $145 million.

Following his stint in government, Yoran advised emerging security technology companies and worked with larger firms to develop security strategies.

"Amit's lifetime experience -- as an entrepreneur, a venture investor and leader in commercial companies and national security -- makes him the perfect fit for our organization," said Louie.

"His critical understanding of key technologies and security needs will position In-Q-Tel to continue to serve as a unique tool driving innovation across the broader intelligence community."

Since its founding, In-Q-Tel has engaged with nearly 90 companies and delivered more than 100 technology solutions to the intelligence community.