(TNS) — Whenever a cyber attack or internet security breach occurs, especially those involving the U.S. government or military, Carnegie Mellon University's CERT Cybersecurity Division goes into action.

Edward H. (Ned) Deets III, a former U.S. Navy cryptologist and retired rear admiral with 32 years of active duty experience, has been named the new director of the division of CMU's Software Engineering Institute, replacing retiring Richard Pethia.

Mr. Pethia founded the operation -- the world's first computer security incident response team. CERT is a research center with more than 600 employees and $150 million in annual business revenues. It has been receiving grant money from the start through the U.S. Department of Defense.

"Rich Pethia started the whole business in 1988 and guided it for nearly 30 years of success," said Paul Nielsen, director and CEO of the institute. "He's been an icon in the business, but all comes to an end with a career at some point. We are lucky to have Ned, given his deep background in this area with the military."

Mr. Deets has been with the institute for five years, serving since 2013 as director of its software solutions division.

"For nearly 30 years, the cybersecurity mission of the CERT division has been at the forefront of our nation's cyber defense," Mr. Deets said, in a statement released by the university. "I am confident that our incredibly talented team will continue to respond to immediate threats and rise to the challenge of anticipating future threats to our national security."

In an interview Wednesday, Mr. Deets said he plans to build on the division's decades of success in "doing great things across the DOD, the federal government and industry, and whatever else we can do to help the United States. We plan to go in different directions as we move forward."

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