2023 Cybersecurity Champions
June 6, 2023

New York State Recognizes Cybersecurity Champion Award Winners at the 25th Annual Cybersecurity Conference

New York State Recognizes Cybersecurity Champion Award Winners at the 25th Annual Cybersecurity Conference

The New York State Office of Information Technology Services (ITS) today announced the recognition of several state employees as State Cybersecurity Champions for their significant contributions to support and enhance cybersecurity in New York State. The winners were honored at the Annual New York State Cybersecurity Conference on June 6.

"New York State is a leader in the field of cybersecurity and that is a tribute to the many talented New York State employees who dedicate their time to protecting our critical assets," said Acting State Chief Information Officer Jennifer Lorenz. "I congratulate this year's Cybersecurity Champion Award winners, who have demonstrated a commitment above and beyond their day-to-day responsibilities to help keep our state and our information safe from cyberattacks. Thank you for your commitment to this important work."

"We are grateful for the contributions of the employees honored with the New York State Cybersecurity Champion Award," said ITS Chief Information Security Officer Chris DeSain. "Their hard work is bolstering our cyber security posture in New York. Congratulations, and thank you, to the award winners!"
Congratulations to the following 2023 New York State Cybersecurity Champions.

Identity & Access Management Team - ITS
Led by Mano Mathan, the team has helped to better secure New York State systems.  A few of the major accomplishments involve improving security around Active Directory, significantly increasing password strength for all accounts, and the establishment of the OneID+ platform, which presents a huge step forward in the identity proofing and authentication options for the public.  The Identity and Access Management team is always ready to jump in and do whatever it takes to ensure NYS systems are well protected against ever increasing cyber threats.
Team members include James Cardany, Lucas Clemente, Brian Eaton, Ricky Gomez, Mike McGean, Todd Lorenc, Remya Varma and Gerry Vermilyea.

DCH Linux Team - ITS
Led by Scott Paul, during the past 15 months he and his team has eradicated more than 5,000 vulnerabilities that posed a threat to the state's information assets on Linux servers. The team balanced a significant amount of operational demands and still remained consistently vigilant and committed to the critical cybersecurity related work they perform. 
Team members include: Shadab Ahmad, Edgar Barranco, Rikhu Giri, Timothy Hawker, Jenish Jacob, and John Joel.

Justin Balch - ITS
As a senior Information Security Officer, Justin's continued leadership and commitment to cybersecurity is clearly exemplified in his efforts to develop the security workforce. He provides guidance and orients new members to CISO to ensure they feel welcomed and supported.  Additionally, Justin has led the development of processes to streamline security services, enabling team members to be more effective in their work.  

Birendra (Ben) Sinha – Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) 
Sinha manages the risk assessment unit of the Information Security Office for OSC and does so with dedication and a positive attitude. He is a team player, mentor and leader and is responsible for ensuring that risks are identified, rated, and remediated as needed. Some of the areas he manages include the Authorization to Operate (ATO) process; Risk Analysis process; and risks for the Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC).  
For more information on the 25th Annual New York State Cybersecurity Conference, visit the conference website. For highlights of the event, follow us on Twitter @NYSITS.