CMS, DOD officials honored for security work at RSA Conference
- By William Jackson
- Feb 16, 2011
SAN FRANCISCO — C. Ryan Brewer, chief information security officer at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, was recognized at the RSA Conference for his work on enhancing the security of CMS networks while improving efficiency. Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn was honored for his public service.
Brewer received the RSA Conference Award for Excellence in the Field of Security Practices and Lynn received the Award for Public Policy during the opening ceremonies of the conference on Feb. 15.
Brewer said that with more than 20 percent of the U.S population receiving health care services through Medicare or Medicaid — and with the entire population being eligible for the services at some point — securing CMS’ sensitive health information is critically important. At a time when government is coming under increased pressure to cut spending, efficiency is also a high priority.
The award recognized Brewer’s efforts in the past two years to transform the information security program and culture at CMS by instituting a risk-based approach to information security while providing a high level of business value. In the process, he saved CMS millions of dollars and improved the agency's security posture.
Lynn’s career in public service has included serving as director of program analysis and evaluation in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and then as undersecretary of Defense/comptroller. Before joining the Defense Department in 1993, he served for six years on the staff of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) as liaison to the Senate Armed Services Committee. He has received three DOD medals for distinguished public service, the Joint Distinguished Civilian Service Award from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and awards from the Air Force, Army and Navy.
Brewer and Lynn joined other cybersecurity luminaries honored at the conference, including Ronald Rivest, Adi Shamir and Leonard Adleman — the R, S and A of RSA, the security division of EMC. They were honored with lifetime achievement awards for their work on developing the encryption method that became the RSA algorithm, a major advance in public-key cryptography. Used worldwide to secure Internet transactions, the algorithm has become a standard technology for encryption in online commerce.
William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.