Several achievements of federal employees and contractors working in the cybersecurity field were honored Tuesday evening as part of the 2014 Government Information Security Leadership Awards.
The annual awards program, run by consulting firm (ISC)2, recognizes individuals and teams who have significantly enhanced the information security workforce by demonstrating a leadership role in any information security workforce improvement initiative, program or project on either a governmentwide or agency-specific basis.
Roberta “Bobbie” Stempfley, deputy assistant secretary for Cybersecurity and Communications (CS&C) within the Homeland Security Department’s National Protection and Programs Directorate, received the Lynn F. McNulty Tribute award for her leadership in moving CS&C through years of transition into the organization it is today – comprised of five divisions that lead interagency and public-private initiatives to enable all sectors to better secure their cyberspace.
“Ms. Stempfley has shepherded CS&C through years of transition and has superbly represented the department through important changes,” said Joe Jarzombek, director for Software & Supply Chain Assurance at DHS. “You will also find her serving in many behind-the-scenes roles that have enabled CS&C to better serve the nation and our partners. Her actions and level of commitment truly exemplify the way Lynn McNulty served our information security community of practice.”
The McNulty award was created in 2012 in honor of cybersecurity pioneer Lynn F. McNulty, who died in June 2012. McNulty served in several high-profile roles throughout his career, including associate director for computer security at NIST, and was the first information systems security director at the State Department. The award recognizes a member of the federal cybersecurity community who upholds McNulty’s legacy as a visionary and innovator through outstanding service and commitment.
In the workforce improvement category, the Cyberspace 200/300 Professional Continuing Education Team at the Center for Cyberspace Research for the Air Force’s Cyberspace Technical Center of Excellence, under the direction of Dr. Robert F. Mills, won the award for their work in planning and creating intermediate and advanced cybersecurity courses using innovative tactics that provided real-world, hands-on training. The education program contributed to the graduation of approximately 400 Defense cyber professionals and continues to provide the Air Force with a continuum of learning that fills current voids in cyber workforce education.
Jaime Vargas, chief information security officer of the Homeland Security Department’s Office of the Inspector General, received the Technology Improvement award for his work in designing, developing and implementing an information security continuous monitoring program for the office’s IT infrastructure. The program has supported the implementation of the Risk Management Framework and improved the effectiveness of safeguards and countermeasures that diminish vulnerabilities, placing the OIG as a federal leader on compliance with the Federal Information Security Management Act.
Erich Fronck, regional information security director for the northeast region at the Veterans Administration, received the Community Awareness award for his work in raising the training compliance level for regional users. As a result, compliance rose to 99.62 percent in the Northeast region and decreased the number of individuals deficient in training from 8,000 to less than 2,000.
In the process/policy category, Jeff Harriss, team lead for access control at the operations security branch at the Agriculture Department, won a for his work in reducing the large number of users granted elevated permissions on their desktop computers to reduce overall risk within the USDA’s user base of 37,000 accounts.
Finally, Sunny Tuteja, president and chief executive officer of AssurIT Consulting Group, won the Federal Contractor award for his work in developing a plan of action and milestones dashboard for USDA’s National Resources Conservation Service to deliver a strategic view of system weaknesses and improve the service’s overall security posture.