TSA, NASA IT leaders among this year's GISLA winners

Emma Garrison-Alexander, assistant administrator for IT at the Transportation Security Administration, and Henry Yu, NASA’s chief information security officer, are among the individual winners of this year’s U.S. Government Information Security Leadership Awards, which are presented by (ISC)2.

(ISC)2, pronounced ISC-squared, is a nonprofit information security professional body that administers the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification. The is the eighth year of the GISLA program, which honors public- and private-sector individuals and teams in five categories.

Garrison-Alexander won the individual award in the Technology Improvement category for leading development of TSA’s Redaction Toolbar, which prevents improper document redaction and inadvertent release of sensitive security information by providing a standard, automated tool in Adobe Acrobat. She also oversaw the development of related policies, processes and training in the use of the new toolbar.

Yu took the individual award for Community Awareness for his contributions to NASA’s IT Security User Awareness Video project.

Other winners, by category, are:

Technology Improvement

  • Team: The Information Assurance Program Management Team, U.S. Army Combined Arms Center, led by Austin Pearson, information assurance program manager, and supported by Mary Johnson, CISSP, GISF, for a long-term project to resolve classified spill issues resulting from the vast number of classified documents and other information processed daily by the Combined Arms Center.

Workforce Improvement

  • Team: Cyberspace 200/300 Professional Continuing Education Team, Air Force Cyber Technical Center of Excellence, led by Dr. Harold Arata III, associate director, for delivering cybersecurity senior and master professional rating courses for the Air Force Space Command to enable a new cyber career force.

Process/Policy Improvement

  • Individual: Davin Knolton, CIO/assistant chief of staff, G-6, Army Combined Arms Center, for combining multiple information security improvement projects into a single comprehensive and efficient portfolio.
  • Team: Military Satellite Communications Systems Directorate, Air Force Information Assurance Manager Team, led by Certified Information Security Manager Steven Martin, for putting together an effort that ensured reciprocity and consistency of the Certification and Accreditation process across the boundaries of designated accrediting authorities, standardized education and awareness programs for executives and technology professionals, and enhanced IA capabilities education.

Community Awareness

  • Team: Cybersecurity Communications Working Group at the Homeland Security Department, led by cybersecurity strategy communications manager Joel Benge, for developing an integrated cybersecurity communications strategy, common terminology and core messages for cross-departmental communications, and responding to a multitude of security incidents.

Federal Contractor

  • Individual: Shawn Wilson, senior manager of information security for Verisign, for leading the effort to execute the Certification and Accreditation effort for the General Services Administration’s .gov registry, which includes about 5,000 domains.
  • Team: The NVJC Cyber Dashboard Team, led by Chris Hughes, chief engineer of cybersecurity, and seven other CISSPs, for establishing a cyber dashboard to visualize, analyze and generate reports from the aggregated and correlated data feeds of multiple legacy security systems. With this tool, the team foiled numerous exploitation attempts and attacks against Defense Department e-mail accounts.
  • Special Recognition: The Joint Information Operations Warfare Center Vulnerability Assessment Computer Network Security Team, led by senior systems engineer David Rohret, for completing more than 150 system and system-of-systems assessments since 2003 on rapidly fielded and developmental systems and more than 300 quick-look assessments on deployed systems.

For more information on the GISLAs, including past winners, selection criteria and eligibility requirements, please visit www.isc2.org/gisla.


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Reader Comments

Sat, Oct 22, 2011 Bill Fisher

You must be joking. Anyone who has ever seen a redacted TSA knows there will be less than ten words visible in the final version. They may as well have second graders with a magic marker prepare these documents and might get to practice their groping skills on them at the same time. So an overpaid and inept TSA CIO "invents" the use of the highlight tool in Acrobat by choosing black in the font color and claims it is her "breakthrough"? Does she realize that this only works with recognizable text and that tables and any text entered as an image can't be found in the keyword search, even using OCR? If it wasn't for the fact that she works for TSA, the agency who perfected the art of government stupidity and ineptitude, this would be embarrassing. As it stands it's just another day on the job for the dipsticks in the TSA cesspool. This is just another example of why this agency is a complete waste of money and needs to be eliminated.

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