TechNet has named Eric Benhamou and Barry Bycoff, executives with 3Com/Palm and Netegrity, respectively, co-chairmen of its new CEO Cybersecurity Task Force.

The move comes as the Department of Homeland Security raises the terrorism threat warning as the United States prepares for war with Iraq.

Working closely with the federal government, the pair will lead the industry group's effort to devise ways of protecting the nation's IT infrastructure.

Other members hail from Cisco, Cyber-Ark Software, Guardent, Hewlett-Packard, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, RSA Security, Symantec, VeriSign, Tipping Point, Tumbleweed, and WindRiver Systems, among others.

The members have agreed to devote time and resources to shape cybersecurity policymaking, promote best practices in network security, and support public-private efforts to protect the Internet.

"The best practices guidelines the Task Force is developing will assist companies in protecting their critical corporate assets while maintaining the flexibility to react to changing requirements, opportunities, and threats," Bycoff said.

This year, the Task Force has two goals: launch a campaign challenging companies to meet a cybersecurity baseline by a specific date; and host a forum for companies on regulatory and legal developments regarding sharing cybersecurity information with government and industry organizations.

"TechNet and its members will continue to provide advice and support to the Administration and Congress in the effort to fight terrorism and protect our information infrastructure," said Rick White, President and CEO of TechNet.

TechNet is a national, bipartisan network of CEOs that promotes the growth of technology industries and the economy by building long-term relationships between technology leaders and policymakers and by advocating a targeted policy agenda. Based in Silicon Valley, the group also has offices in Seattle, Boston, Austin, and Orange County, Calif.