Meet the feds who are defending you online

By Brittany Ballenstedt

October 18, 2012

Earlier this week, the nonprofit International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, known as (ISC)2, recognized five federal employees and contractors who have made significant contributions to government information security.

The ninth annual Government Information Security Leadership Awards program assessed the achievements and influence of a select group of nominees. This year’s awards recognized individuals and teams in five distinct categories:

The training and evaluations division team at the Federal Aviation Administration, led by Nancy Hendricks, won the community awareness award for the division’s work in leading a cybersecurity training program that emphasizes open communication, defined workflows and cutting-edge development tools. The program has led to several training improvements at FAA, including an effort to ensure that at least 95 percent of the user population completed annual awareness training by a set date and ensuring that the nearly 600 information security specialists received mandatory role-based training.

In the workforce improvement category, the Army’s Reserve Information Operations Command Cyber Warrior Training Development Team, led by Col. John Diaz, won an award for its training program that transforms soldiers into elite, combat-ready cyber warriors able to protect, monitor, analyze, detect and respond to unauthorized activity on the Army’s information systems and computer networks.

The Defense Department’s Joint Capability Technology Demonstration Adaptive Red Team, led by David Rohret, was awarded the federal contractor award for its work in replicating how real-world hackers, cyber armies and cyber criminals might attack the Defense Department. In response, Rohret and his team also developed a process for applying effects-based scenarios, rather than traditional technology-centric approaches.

In the policy and process category, Janet Stevens, chief information officer at the Agriculture Department’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, won an award for her work in improving cybersecurity awareness, communication and organizational efficiency, largely through the innovative use of social media. Stevens regularly contributes to blogs, newsletters and Ping to provide her agency with an in-depth explanation of cybersecurity issues.

The Air Force’s Military Satellite Communications Systems Directorate’s Host Based Security System Pilot Integration Team, led by Steven Martin, won the technology improvement award for its work in in leading a diverse partnership of government, contractor and industry stakeholders to address the significant challenge of intregrating the HBSS baseline on a space system.

Meanwhile, (ISC)2 also announced Tuesday that it has created a new category for the 2013 GISLA program, in honor of cybersecurity pioneer Lynn F. McNulty, who died in June 2012. McNulty served in several high-profile roles throughout his career. He served as associate director for computer security at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and was the first information systems security director at the State Department. The new award will recognize a member of the federal cybersecurity community who upholds McNulty’s legacy as a visionary and innovator through outstanding service and commitment. 

By Brittany Ballenstedt

October 18, 2012