Congratulating the 2013 Security 7 Award winners

We honor leading information security professionals in seven vertical industries and applaud their achievements in our annual awards issue.

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Landing at the top of the information security field takes diligence, guts and a lot of hard work. In fact, many people don't notice information security -- including top executives -- until something goes horribly wrong. What happens next? Many chief information security officers are shown the exits by their employers; 75% of CISOs lose their jobs when a publically disclosed breach occurs without documented test plans, according to Gartner Inc. research.

Everyone in the information security field knows how hard it is to stay ahead of a rapidly evolving threat landscape. Not to mention, emerging technologies, perimeter-less networking environments populated by a growing range of Internet devices -- including bring your own devices -- and employees who unwittingly (or stealthily) become insider threats. While the National Security Agency may be grabbing headlines that finally make people at large take a closer look at security, data privacy and surveillance, information security professionals have faced security challenges head on for decades, without much recognition of their vital roles.

Who knows how hard this job really is? Your peers. Each year, we ask our readers to nominate the top information security professionals across major industries, government and non-profits. In 2013, we are honoring innovative information security professionals in seven sectors with universal and unique information security challenges: education, health care, financial services, government, manufacturing, retail and telecommunications.

This is the ninth year we've handed out the Security 7 awards to outstanding representatives of the information security field. Other game-changers and luminaries that we've honored over the years include Bill Boni, Dorothy Denning, Dave Dittrich, Melissa Hathaway, Christopher Hoff, Ron Knode, Gene Spafford and Mark Weatherford.

As 2013 draws to a close, we're pleased to announce the Security 7 winners who will join them on our honor roll: Philip Scrivano, the chief technology officer of the Las Virgenes Unified School District; Ali Youssef, senior solutions architect, Henry Ford Health Systems; Angela Orebaugh, Fellow, Booz Allen Hamilton; Nick Duda, principal information security engineer, Vistaprint; George Do, director, Global Information Security, Equinix; Timothy Rogers, senior global manager, IT security, United Technology Corp.; and Jason Witty, senior vice president and chief information security officer at U.S. Bancorp.

The Security 7 winners didn't reach the pinnacle of their profession by sitting on the sidelines. In addition to innovation and outstanding achievements, they are active thought leaders who have a lot to say about industry issues, emerging technologies and hot-button security topics. As in years past, we've asked this year's winners to write short essays about issues that they care deeply about. Read on to find out what's happening with bring your own device in public schools, wireless connectivity and medical devices, security and the Internet of Things, security information and event management in the cloud, intelligence-driven security in financial services, back-to-basics security advice, behavioral data analysis and insider threats.

Our impressive group of winners is a diverse bunch with a few surprises -- one skates on a roller derby team; another owns every The Amazing Spider-Man comic book published since the franchise started in 1962. At the same time, we noticed some commonalities. When asked if they personally favored Apple or Android, all seven said Apple. What keeps them up at night? Some noted security worries, but most said their kids.

We thank our honorees for their notable contributions to the information security community and for earning the recognition of their peers -- and our editorial team. Congratulations to this year's Security 7 award winners!

About the author:
Kathleen Richards is the features editor of Information Security magazine. Follow her on Twitter @RichardsKath.

Send comments on this column to feedback@infosecuritymag.com.

This was first published in December 2013

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