Treasury names critical infrastructure chief

Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center

The Treasury Department on Feb. 4 named Michael Dawson as the head of the department's new Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection.

Dawson will serve as deputy assistant secretary for critical infrastructure protection and compliance policy.

Treasury is the liaison agency for the banking and finance sector when it comes to cyber and physical infrastructure protection. The office is part of the department's efforts to share information between the banking and finance sectors, and between the private and public sectors.

The financial services industry is one of the most advanced areas for addressing critical infrastructure protection. Of all the Information Sharing and Analysis Centers established under the Clinton administration, the Financial Services ISAC is the most mature.

To encourage further information sharing, the Bush administration is looking at a potential exemption to the Freedom of Information Act that would help allay private-sector concerns about sharing critical infrastructure information with the government.

Much of the Treasury office's efforts will focus on enforcing homeland security regulations related to the Patriot Act, such as terrorist financing and money laundering, but the office also will address identity theft, according to the department.

Dawson previously served as chief of staff at FOLIOfn Inc., a Web-based broker-dealer, and worked for the Covington & Burling law firm in Washington, D.C.

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