Awards Recognize Best in Government Cybersecurity

Tobias Arhelger/

Six feds were presented with the SANS awards.

Six government cybersecurity practitioners were recognized by the SANS Institute this week for their efforts in making measurable advances in information security.

The People Who Made a Difference in Cybersecurity 2013 Awards were presented to individuals, teams and groups at the SANS Cyber Defense Initiative training event in Washington, on Dec. 16. The awards recognize security practitioners as individuals, teams or groups who have implemented security processes or technology over the past year that resulted in meaningful and measurable advances in security.

This year’s government winners:

  • Erica Borggren, Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, was honored for her leadership and expertise in leading security career training work for veterans in Illinois.
  • Todd Boudreau of the U.S. Amry Office Chief of Signal was honored for his efforts to redesign the Army signal warrant officer structure to enable establishment of four new key cyber roles. The Army has since graduated more than 100 warrant officers through an advanced training project to develop people to fill those roles.
  • Peter Kaplan, acting director of the Federal Trade Commission, was recognized as a cyber difference maker for his leadership and charge of the commission that has never lost focus of its mission to protect consumers and is particularly strong at going after companies that don’t protect their customers’ information.
  • Maj. TJ O’Connor of the United States Military Academy at West Point was honored for his leadership in effectively training his information assurance team to become one of the first Cyber Guardian teams, making him a go-to advisor to senior leaders who need help thinking about the skills needed for top-notch cybersecurity teams.
  • Alex Ruiz of the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement was recognized for his leadership of the Social Engineering Training program to provide evaluation and improvement of the operational security posture of ICE personnel.
  • Jonathon Trull of the Colorado Governor’s Office of Information Technology also was honored as a cyber difference maker for his efforts in pulling together a cross-industry team to create a “Secure Colorado” plan that drove measurable improvements in the security of the state’s information systems. 

(Image via Tobias Arhelger/