2008 Rising Star Kevin Roberson

Kevin Roberson is always looking for trouble

2008 Rising Star

TITLE: Information systems security Specialist

AGENCY: U.S. Postal Service

LOCATION: Raleigh, N.C.

CAREER IN BRIEF: Roberson is the primary architect and project manager of the U.S. Postal Service's security vulnerability assessment process.

Kevin Roberson

Steve Exum/WPN

Kevin Roberson likes to think of himself as a troublemaker, which makes him a perfect fit for his job as manager of the U.S. Postal Service's security vulnerability assessment process.

'I have a knack for causing problems,' he said. 'I think [the Postal Service] found a good spot for me ' to cause [security] problems and document how I do it, so we can keep everybody else from causing problems.'

Roberson, 37, and his team perform security audits and penetration tests on USPS' network infrastructure. 'I will break in, document how I broke in, give that to the business owner and work with them to get it fixed,' he said.

He discovered his knack for causing mischief in the Marine Corps. 'I was great at setting booby traps, things like that,' he said.

Roberson's droll sense of humor adds a little levity to the deadly serious business of protecting USPS' intranet, one of the largest networks in the world, said Chuck McGann, manager of information systems security at USPS.

'Kevin brings a lot of humor to the place,' McGann said. 'He keeps everybody laughing, engaged and moving forward. Kevin is a unique personality, but he is probably one of the most dedicated people I have. He's a very conscientious guy.'

Roberson also is a top-flight security expert, McCann said. 'No matter how large the task, how complex the environment or number of platforms, Kevin is able to identify, understand, communicate and provide detailed mitigation strategies for all security issues,' he said.

Roberson's latest accomplishment is the creation of a scanning enclave, which lets him conduct security audits and penetration tests of remote locations from his office in Raleigh, N.C. Using this approach, Roberson and his team have decreased the need to travel from site to site and significantly cut their travel costs.

'Kevin is always looking to better himself,' McGann said. 'Those are qualities that certainly make him a rising star in my organization.'

About Rising Stars 2008

Turnover among information technology leaders is a fact of life in government circles. Who's there to take the baton? The 2008 Rising Stars exemplify the strengths of the emerging generation of IT leaders, mixing technical savvy and innovative thinking with an instinct for collaboration and a commitment to the government's mission. Government Computer News is joining Federal Computer Week and Washington Technology in making the awards an 1105 Government Information Group 360-degree special report. For a look at all the Rising Stars, click here.

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