Cyber Security Awards_Hero
June 5, 2018

New York State Recognizes Cybersecurity Champion Award Winners

New York State Recognizes Cybersecurity Champion Award Winners
Three Individuals and One Team Honored at the 21st Annual Cybersecurity Conference
Tuesday, June 5, 2018

June 5, 2018, Albany, NY - The New York State Office of Information Technology Services (ITS) today announced the recognition of seven New York State employees as State Cybersecurity Champions for their significant contributions to support and enhance cyber security in New York. The winners, three individuals and one team, were honored at the 21st Annual New York State Cybersecurity Conference on June 5 to help kick-off the two-day event.


"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 Robert H. Samson, New York State Chief Information Officer. "I am pleased to congratulate this year's Cybersecurity Champion Award winners, who work so hard to keep our state and our information safe. Thank you for your commitment to this tireless and important work."


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


John B. Rhodes, CEO of the Department of Public Service said, "Cybersecurity is of paramount importance and requires the creativity, hard work and diligence of New York State employees across multiple platforms. We offer our sincere appreciation to this year's champions, but in particular to our own Keith Haugen for his dedication to protecting the State's electric, gas, water and telecommunications infrastructure."


Congratulations to the 2018 New York State Cybersecurity Champions:


Keith Haugen, Utility Analyst 3 Cybersecurity, New York State Department of Public Service. Mr. Haugen was honored for his dedication and commitment to monitoring the protections of critical infrastructure for electric, gas, water and telecommunications from cyber threats. His leadership and efforts ensure these utilities continue to provide reliable and safe services to the public. Mr. Haugen is passionate about cybersecurity and works hard to learn about new developments in the field to stay ahead of cyber threats and vulnerabilities.


Duane Averill, Assistant Director of Information Technology Services 1, ITS.  Mr. Averill was recognized for his exemplary leadership, significant contributions, and commitment to ensuring a well-defined and well-executed Statewide cyber risk management program.  Working within the Chief Information Security Office at ITS, Mr. Averill helps drive a client-centric, process-driven culture through his work coordinating high-profile application risk assessments for New York State.


Brandi Loveday-Chesley, Information Technology Specialist 2, New York State Insurance Fund (NYSIF). Ms. Loveday-Chesley was recognized for her dedication and ongoing efforts to assess vulnerability risk and advise on remediation actions for all devices at NYSIF. In addition, Ms. Loveday-Chesley consistently provides outstanding customer service to the application development and infrastructure groups within her agency.    

The ITS Office of Internal Audit - Quality Assurance Team was recognized for their dedication and commitment to working in concert with ITS departments to efficiently track audit findings, and assist with and review remediation efforts to reduce risk across the agency. Team members:

  • Robert Russell, Information Systems Auditor 2
  • Felicia Rivenburgh, Information Technology Specialist 2
  • James Parente, Information Technology Specialist 2
  • Valery Louis, Information Technology Specialist 2

In addition to the awards, the conference features over 45 sessions, many of them including interactive discussions led by subject matter experts in government and private industry. Top researchers in academia will present papers on information security at the 13th Annual Symposium on Information Assurance (ASIA), which runs concurrently with the conference.

For more information on the 21st Annual New York State Cybersecurity Conference, visit the conference website. For highlights of the event, follow us on Twitter @NYSITS.


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.

For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @nysits.