GTRA announces SecureGOV Council Meeting Award winners


(PR NewsChannel) / December 11, 2012 / WASHINGTON 

Government Technology Research Alliance (GTRA)Today GTRA announced the speaker and technology award winners for the Government Technology Research Alliance (GTRA) December 2012 SecureGOV Council Meeting.  Senior executives at the Government Technology Research Alliance’s semi-annual council meetings voted among their peers nominating technology leaders in the areas of cloud, security, privacy, and mobility.

“Best of GTRA” speaking award was won by the panelists Anil Karmel (NNSA M&O CTO, NNSA), Greg Cappella (Deputy Executive Director, DHS), Richard Gordon (Deputy CIO IT, Education), Jeanie Larson (Director, Risk Management & Incident Response, VA), and the moderator Mark Sheppard (Director, Federal Strategic Programs, LexisNexis), for their speaking session titled “Securing the Cloud: Strategies, Selection Considerations, Access Management and Data Migration.” The panelists spoke on the importance of accepting cloud computing in a federal environment, and that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for integration. Cost-effectiveness of cloud computing was also discussed as a new way to “do more with less.” Karmel mentioned that, “The journey to the cloud is one the must be navigated with care.  Setting your ship on the right course requires knowing who your user is, what data they are trying to store and where they are trying to access it coupled with the appropriate management and visibility tools, vis-a-vis a cloud service broker.   If implemented correctly, a cloud service broker combines the efficiencies of cloud with software defined security to protect your data across multiple providers.”

Dr. Ron Ross (Senior Fellow, NIST) was voted “Most Dynamic Speaker” for his session titled, “Opening up a Second Front on Risk Management: Integrating Cyber Security Requirements into Mainstream Organizational Mission and Business Processes” at the GTRA Council Meeting. Dr. Ross led a presentation on being prepared for cyber attacks before they happen. Dr. Ross stressed the importance of executives to have a contingency plan that is well practiced and well executed. “Strengthening the underlying IT infrastructure by integrating cyber security requirements into main stream organizational processes such as enterprise architecture, systems engineering, system development life cycle, and acquisition, is an effective method to help federal agencies protect their critical information assets,” Dr. Ross mentioned when asked what the main take-away lesson would be from his session.

Dwayne Melançon (CTO, Tripwire) was awarded “Best Cyber Security Presentation” for his lunch keynote titled “Connecting Security to the Mission” where he spoke on presenting security information in a clear and concise way by prioritizing and categorizing information for the end user to avoid confusion. When asked what the best take-away lesson would be from his session, Melançon said, “With today’s economic climate, the key challenge of senior information security executives is no longer a technical one – it is a business challenge.  Making a clear connection between the tactics of security and the imperatives of the mission is essential in making the right decisions for the organization; this is something I refer to as ‘Connecting Security To The Mission.’  This requires a new approach and new skills, focused on providing concise, actionable data with clear value to the rest of the organization.”

The “Most Innovative” award for their speaking session on “Winning the Cybersecurity War: Continuous Monitoring, Leveraging Intelligence Data, and Government-wide Collaboration” was awarded to Benjamin Bergersen (CIO, Commerce), Dana Mellerio (Cybersecurity Executive, NASA), Tom Pedagno (Chief of the Enterprise Services & Operations Division, Coast Guard), Vaughn Noga (CTO and Director, EPA), and William Hartwell (VP, Federal/NATO Area, Riverbed Technology). “Control, Protect, and Secure” was the theme of the session; risk-based assessment of problems and maintaining access controls fall into this theme. When asked about his session, Pedagno mentioned, “People are our most critical asset in successfully winning the cybersecurity war.  Continued education and training campaigns, such as DHS’ “Stop.Think.Connect.” campaign, are needed to ensure our end users don’t inadvertently aid the enemy by falling victim to a cunning phishing email or otherwise introducing a virus, worm or bot into the government networks.”

Bob Brese (CIO, Energy), Keith Trippie (Executive Director of Enterprise Systems, DHS), Cheri Caddy (Senior Advisor for Cyber Information Sharing, Interoperability Division, PM-ISE, DNI) and Chris Poulin (CSO, Q1 Labs, an IBM Company) won the “Most Cutting Edge” at the GTRA Council Meeting for their dynamic speaking session titled, “Securing the Federal IT Ecosystem: Concerns of Today & Opportunities for Tomorrow.” The session covered topics such as risk management, supply chain management. The panelists engaged in conversation about the need for more education and training for the end user, and how important it is to break down “silos of excellence” to allow for more collaborative discussion between executives.

All of the GTRA SecureGOV Council Meeting Award recipients receive an automatic nomination entry for the GOVTek Government Executive Awards which will be voted on by a panel of judges and the government IT community. The GOVTek Award nominees will be celebrated and Award winners announced at the GOVTek Gala, hosted by GTRA. For more information, please visit

About GTRA: GTRA brings together executive-level government technology Security, Enterprise Architecture, Green IT and Health IT leaders to collaborate, strategize and create innovative solutions.  The semi-annual GTRA Technology Council Meeting address the topics identified through research with the government Council members and industry experts. By sharing best practices and lessons learned, knowledge is exchanged in a peer-to-peer forum, resulting in actionable government-wide strategic plans and cutting-edge solutions.  Through a unique collaborative methodology, GTRA is revolutionizing the way government does business.

Kirby Watkins
Executive Assistant, Government Technology Research Alliance (GTRA)
Office: 312.253.4100
Mobile: 202.815.7406
Fax: 202.351.0569

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SOURCE:  Government Technology Research Alliance

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