Army salutes info assurance efforts

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Network security is such a major issue for the Army that today the service held an inaugural information assurance awards ceremony to honor military, civilian and government contractors who put a high premium on thwarting system vulnerabilities.

Trophies went to individuals and to units or organizations. The government also awarded honorable mention certificates.

"You are really stars on making a difference in this business," said Lt. Gen. Steven Boutelle, Army CIO. "All of it was self-generated. You saw the problems. You saw the issues and you went out and protected that information."

The award recipients for the IA professional of the year, government civilian, was Gregory S. Bigelow, senior technical expert and network and security program manager for the Army Corps of Engineers Enterprise Infrastructure Services Program.

Bigelow designed and updated the Corps of Engineers security infrastructure, a nine-layered security model. Bigelow was also credited with developing specifications for a standardized equipment stack at each Corps site that has created redundancy of critical components and allows functions to be managed remotely.

The government contractor IA professional of the year was James K. Lynch for his work with Army Common Access Card-PKI programs.

Lynch has developed an Army policy outlining the appropriate use of digital signatures and encryption and a policy on the procurement and use of personal digital assistants. The Navy and Air Force have adopted the policies for their own CAC-PKI programs, officials said.

Taking home the IA team award for the innovative use of products and systems were the hundreds of thousands of deployed soldiers serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

Winning the most innovative project or implementation by unit or command award was the Huntington District Information Management Office/Computer Security Team of Huntington, W.Va., for developing and implementing an in-house tool called System Update Utility. It is activated at log-on or runs at select times after hours, scanning the computer in search of missing Information Assurance Vulnerability Alert patches or applications.

The honorable mention winners:

  • Government civilian Angela V. Rhodes of the Army Corps of Engineers Huntington District, for leading the division to have 1,100 IT assets fully accredited

  • Government contractor Eleanor Brings, senior customer support analyst for the Army Corps of Engineers in Washington, D.C., for implementing the Compliance Reporting Database Version 2

  • Information Assurance Office-Information Support Activity, St. Louis, for an IA awareness campaign with posters, pamphlets, wallet cards, pop-up alerts and e-mails sent out throughout the year.
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