• United States



by Senior Editor

2009 Women of Influence Award Winners Named

Oct 01, 20093 mins
CareersIT Leadership

The Women of Influence awards honor accomplished, inspirational women in information security, risk management and privacy

The 2009 Executive Women’s Forum “Women of Influence” Awards were awarded recently at the event in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The awards were co-presented by Alta Associates and CSO Magazine, recognizing women in four categories: one winner from the public sector or academia, a private solutions provider from the security industry, a corporate practitioner from the private sector, and finally, ‘One to Watch,’ a future leader in the security field. The winners were nominated by peers in the security community.

This year, the public sector winner is Mischel Kwon, the director of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT). Kwon, an IT professional with more than 26 years of experience, was named to her current position in June 2008. As the director for the US-CERT, Kwon is responsible for the operational mission of the US-CERT, including the analysis and reduction of cyber threats and vulnerabilities in federal networks, dissemination of cyber threat warning information, and coordination of incident response activities. Kwon previously served with the United States Department of Justice, where she was deputy director for IT security staff.

The 2009 private solutions provider winner is Patricia Titus, chief information security officer with Unisys Corporation. Prior to her position with Unisys, Titus served for six years with the Transportation Security Administration, where she created, implemented and maintained a robust IT Security program and led her team to have an IT Security Program rated with a FISMA compliance score of “A” for 18 months. When she joined Unisys Federal Systems as the Chief Information Security Officer, she brought much of that rigor to its security program, according to her nomination.

This year, the winner in the WOI corporate category is Michelle Dennedy, chief governance officer for Sun Microsystems. Dennedy is seen as a creative leader in changing the view of privacy from that of strict regulation to one of social responsibility, according to her nomination. In addition to raising the visibility of data privacy and data integrity issues to all of Sun’s engineering and field employees, Dennedy has been a staunch advocate of processes to incorporate that awareness into best practices, ranging from laptop encryption to evaluation of privacy standards in acquired companies.

The 2009 ‘One to Watch’ winner is Char Suter, SVP Information Security with HSBC North America. According to Suter’s nomination, while she is a relatively newcomer to the information security field, she has embraced it with a passion and made a tremendous difference at HSBC. Suter has made significant contributions to an HSBC Identity and Access Management program that was launched two years ago.