Awards Recognize Best in Federal Cybersecurity

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Winners include NIST senior fellow, Air Force general.

Achievements by federal employees and contractors working in the cybersecurity field were honored Tuesday evening as part of the 2013 Government Information Security Leadership Awards.

The annual awards program, run by consulting firm (ISC)2, recognizes individuals and teams whose initiatives have improved the security posture in their agency or across government or enhanced the information security workforce.

Ron Ross, senior fellow at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, received the inaugural Lynn F. McNulty Tribute GISLA for his leadership of the Federal Information Security Management Act implementation. Ross also serves as the principle architect of the NIST Risk Management Framework and supports the State Department in an international outreach program for information security and critical infrastructure protection.

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.

“Dr. Ross has played a key role in establishing cybersecurity requirements for federal agencies for decades,” said W. Hord Tipton, executive director of (ISC)2 and former chief information officer at the Interior Department. “By honoring Ron with this designation, we are ensuring that Lynn’s legacy of influence and commitment to government information security is recognized for years to come.”

This year’s awards also recognized individuals and teams in five distinct categories:

  • The Task Force Cyber Team at the HQ Army Materiel Command, led by Wendy Huskey, won the community awareness award for its efforts in educating more than 70,000 military and civilian employees on information security. This training has enabled the command to become the second best trained and certified compliant command that steadily maintains a 98 percent overall information assurance training and certification compliance rating.
  • In the workforce improvement category, Maj. Gen. Earl Matthews, director of cyberspace operations for the U.S. Air Force, won an award for his role in leading the a 45,000-person workforce to meet dynamic requirements in the cyberspace mission area. In collaboration with the White House, Maj. General Matthews and his staff partnered with industry in a “Transition Service Member” pilot, initiated the “Knowledge Ops Management Center” pilot and forged the first-ever “Year of the Cyber Civilian” campaign that drove career transition for 19,000 civilian employees.
  • The Registration, Compliance and Verification Modernization team at the Selective Service System, led by David Ratnaraj, won the federal contractor award for its work in replacing a mission-critical legacy mainframe with a secure, optimized and maintainable Web-enabled solution that achieved zero cybersecurity vulnerabilities in more than 680,000 lines of source code. By meeting demanding security requirements and building in security throughout the software development lifecycle, the company avoided $2.5 million in annual costs.
  • In the policy and process improvement category, the Mobile Technology Tiger at the Homeland Security Department, led by Roger Seeholzer, won an award for its collaboration with 21 federal stakeholders to develop a common criterion for mobile computing programs. The common approach of the Federal Mobile Security Baseline and the Mobile Computing Decision Framework has been approved for distribution across other federal agencies and promises to save significant funds while furthering DHS’ effort to enable safe, secure delivery of digital information and services.
  • The Agriculture Department’s NITC Cloud Service Provider FedRAMP – Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program – Certification team, led by James Steven, won the technology improvement award for its accomplishment in not only becoming the first federal agency to achieve FedRAMP certification for its government-owned and managed Enterprise Data Center Cloud Service Offerings, but for completing the project under budget and two months ahead of schedule.