ITS Announces Cyber Security Champion Award Winners

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Eight Award Winners Honored for Strong Commitment to Cyber Security and Preparedness
Thursday, June 8, 2017

The New York State Office of Information Technology Services (ITS) today announced that eight New York State employees were recognized as State Cyber Security Champions for their significant contributions to support and enhance cyber security in New York. The winners were honored at the 20th Annual New York State Cyber Security Conference on June 7 during a special awards ceremony.

"With the increasing prevalence of cyber threats facing us each day, cyber security is a responsibility we all share," said Robert H. Samson, New York State Chief Information Officer. "New York State is fortunate to hold a position of leadership in the field of cyber security and that is due in large part to the efforts of many of our talented and dedicated employees. Congratulations to the eight individuals recognized at the 20th Annual Cyber Security Conference as New York State Cyber Security Champions. Thank you for your steadfast commitment to cyber security, which is helping to keep New York, and its citizens, safe."

"We are grateful for the contributions of the employees honored with the New York State Cyber Security Champion Award," said Deborah Snyder, Acting Chief Information Security Officer, ITS. "Their hard work is helping to strengthen and secure the cyber environment in New York. Congratulations, and thank you, to the award winners!"

"Each and every day, State Police employees, both sworn and civilian, work together with the shared goal of keeping all New Yorkers safe," said New York State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II. "I want to congratulate Jamie Daley and Senior Investigator Mark Donchek on this recognition for their outstanding work on cyber security. Their dedication to public service is commendable."

"Since joining the Department of Labor, Nathaalie Carey has proven herself to be an invaluable resource, always attacking problems, particularly with regard to technology and cyber security, head on with uncommon vigor and imagination," said State Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon. "I congratulate her on this well-deserved recognition and applaud all the awardees.  New threats in cyberspace demand creative solutions and these eight individuals represent the best New York State has to offer.  We must all put forth our best effort to meet the high standard they've set."

"Governor Cuomo deserves our thanks for his ongoing commitment to New York's cyber security.  These award winners are crucial to identifying, attracting, educating and recruiting the next generation of cyber security leaders," said Steven J. Spano, President and Chief Operating Officer of the Center for Internet Security, who also presented during this year's event.

Congratulations to the 2017 New York State Cyber Security Champions:

David Bell, Manager of Information Technology Services 2, New York State Office of Information Technology Services (ITS). Mr. Bell was recognized for his exemplary commitment and leadership within the Governance Risk Compliance team. His technical knowledge and command of the many moving components of the State's complex computing and application environment, enables him to effectively assess vulnerability risk, and help advise decision-makers and execute on remediation actions.

Nathaalie Carey, Deputy Commissioner for Administration, Chief Financial Officer, Cyber Security Coordinator, New York State Department of Labor. Ms. Carey was recognized for her efforts to steer an agency-wide initiative to identify, qualify, and mitigate cyber risks within DOL as part of the overarching strategic planning process. Her efforts ultimately led to the development of a three-tier Digital Information Security Framework at DOL and she is currently leading a task force to develop cyber security policies and standards to support the DOL business mission.

Jaime Daley, Senior Intelligence Analyst, New York State Police. Ms. Daley was recognized for her tireless efforts to elevate and advance the value of cyber threat analysis and shared intelligence to the benefit of the New York State and government agencies. In addition to managing a team of analysts within the New York State Intelligence Center, Ms. Daley is also an adjunct instructor at the University of Albany, College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity.

Chris DeSain, Public Safety Cluster Information Security Officer, ITS. Mr. Desain was recognized for his dedication and commitment to advancing the security posture of the Public Safety Cluster agencies, particularly in leading the way to the successful implementation of a Secure Software Development Life Cycle for all Public Safety Cluster applications and the drive toward NIST 800-53 compliance for all agencies within the Public Safety Cluster.

Mark Donchek, Senior Investigator, Cyber Analysis Unit, New York State Police. Mr. Donchek was recognized for his role and leadership in not only launching the Cyber Analysis Unit, but in helping provide the vision for its growth. In his nearly 20-year career in IT and law enforcement, he has developed innovative strategies to address security concerns and battle the rise of cyber threats.

Neelima Kanakamedala, Information Security Analyst, ITS. Ms. Kanakamedala was recognized for her work as part of the Governance Risk Compliance team, most specifically her efforts to support the design, development and deployment of the Risk and Remediation Tracking System, taking on CAPA (risk register) management, and performing numerous risk assessment-related functions. 

Josh Katzman, Director of Information Security and Service Management, Citizen Services Cluster, ITS. Mr. Katzman was recognized for his leadership in ensuring security is built into ITS-managed systems by design, as well as for his contributions to the development and adoption of appropriate policies and standards.

Kahn Krug, IT Specialist 2, ITS. Mr. Krug was recognized for his leadership within the Enterprise Information Security Office's Vulnerability Management Team in regards to Web Application Security. His efforts have enabled the adoption of web application scanning tools, which have helped to identify critical security issues in web applications so they can be addressed prior to release.

In addition to the awards, the conference features more than 50 keynote and breakout sessions covering topics ranging from risk management, mobile security, the threat landscape, the human element, incident response and more. Training classes in security risk analysis and threat analysis are also offered as part of the conference.

Top researchers in academia will present papers on information security at the 12th Annual Symposium on Information Assurance (ASIA), which runs concurrent with the conference.

For more information on the 20th Annual New York State Cyber Security Conference, visit the conference website at   For highlights of the event, follow us on Twitter .


About ITS

The New York State Office of Information Technology Services (ITS) was created in 2012 to transform IT services in an effort to make New York State government work smarter for its citizens and enable the state to be accessible for businesses through the use of technology. ITS provides statewide IT strategic direction, directs IT policy and delivers centralized IT products and services that support the mission of the State. ITS operates data centers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to support statewide mission-critical applications for over 50 Agencies, over 17 million citizen accounts, 120,000 employee accounts, 60,000 phones, 99,000 desktops and laptops, and 3,433 Virtual Desktop remote connections. ITS operates a secure network of over 1,600 miles of fiber to deliver telecommunications, Internet and Intranet services, enterprise email systems and support, IT training, networking, data storage and processing to State government entities in addition to developing new services in support of citizens, businesses and State Agencies.

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