24th AF commander receives Symantec 2012 Cyber Award

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Maj. Gen. Suzanne Vautrinot, 24th Air Force and Air Forces Cyber commander, stands next to Steve Bennett, Symantec chairman, president and chief executive officer, after he presents her with one of Symantec's six 2012 Cyber Awards at the 2012 Symantec Government Symposium, Nov. 7. The annual award recognizes leaders who exemplify government cyber security excellence through their contributions to programs that protect national and global data and systems. (U.S. Air Force photo by Christine D. Millette)

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Maj. Gen. Suzanne Vautrinot, 24th Air Force and Air Forces Cyber commander, stands next to Steve Bennett, Symantec chairman, president and chief executive officer, after he presents her with one of Symantec's six 2012 Cyber Awards at the 2012 Symantec Government Symposium, Nov. 7. The annual award recognizes leaders who exemplify government cyber security excellence through their contributions to programs that protect national and global data and systems. (U.S. Air Force photo by Christine D. Millette)

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Ted Koppel, former anchor of ABC News' Nightline, speaks with Maj. Gen. Suzanne Vautrinot, 24th Air Force and Air Forces Cyber commander, at the 2012 Symantec Government Symposium, Nov. 7. Koppel was a keynote speaker at the annual event, where Vautrinot was honored as one of Symantec's 2012 Cyber Award winners. The annual award recognizes leaders who exemplify government cyber security excellence through their contributions to programs that protect national and global data and systems. (U.S. Air Force photo by Christine D. Millette)

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Ted Koppel, former anchor of ABC News' Nightline, speaks with Maj. Gen. Suzanne Vautrinot, 24th Air Force and Air Forces Cyber commander, at the 2012 Symantec Government Symposium, Nov. 7. Koppel was a keynote speaker at the annual event, where Vautrinot was honored as one of Symantec's 2012 Cyber Award winners. The annual award recognizes leaders who exemplify government cyber security excellence through their contributions to programs that protect national and global data and systems. (U.S. Air Force photo by Christine D. Millette)

WASHINGTON, D.C. - General Keith Alexander, U.S. Cyber Command commander and NSA director, addresses the crowd at the 2012 Symantec Government Symposium about working as a team in cyber security, Nov. 7. Alexander was a keynote speaker at the annual event, where one of Symantec's 2012 Cyber Award winners was Maj. Gen. Suzanne Vautrinot, 24th Air Force and Air Forces Cyber commander. The annual award recognizes leaders who exemplify government cyber security excellence through their contributions to programs that protect national and global data and systems. (U.S. Air Force photo by Christine D. Millette)

WASHINGTON, D.C. - General Keith Alexander, U.S. Cyber Command commander and NSA director, addresses the crowd at the 2012 Symantec Government Symposium about working as a team in cyber security, Nov. 7. Alexander was a keynote speaker at the annual event, where one of Symantec's 2012 Cyber Award winners was Maj. Gen. Suzanne Vautrinot, 24th Air Force and Air Forces Cyber commander. The annual award recognizes leaders who exemplify government cyber security excellence through their contributions to programs that protect national and global data and systems. (U.S. Air Force photo by Christine D. Millette)

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Maj. Gen. Suzanne Vautrinot, 24th Air Force and Air Forces Cyber commander, received Symantec's 2012 Cyber Award in the category of National/Federal - Defense during a ceremony held at the 2012 Symantec Government Symposium, Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, D.C., Nov. 7.

The annual award recognizes leaders who exemplify government cyber security excellence through their contributions to programs that protect national and global data and systems. The awards also recognize thought leaders who have developed and operationalized innovative strategies or programs to address government cyber security challenges.

"We gave an enduring strategy that was actionable, and then more importantly we acted upon it as a team," said Vautrinot, in an interview during the symposium. "We collaborated; that meant we leveraged industry as a partner, not as a provider. We also leveraged the international community as allies, not as adversaries, and we leveraged those other government agencies, the Interagency, as part of a team, because in cyber security it's not about one contribution. We all have the same vulnerabilities, we are all threatened by the same adversaries, and we all need to contribute to the strength of this nation, in economic, diplomatic, and military cyber security, so we worked together on an enduring strategy. That strategy has been very successful."

General Keith Alexander, U.S. Cyber Command commander and NSA director, delivered the symposium's first keynote speech of the day, and talked about how national cyber security is a job that the government and industry must work together as a team and help educate the general populous.

"Most of the people do not technically understand the network and what we're talking about," he said. "And so there's a lot of paranoia out there. You know, we have to help them understand - everyone understand in the United States and our allies - actually what we mean by operating in cyberspace a secure area where we protect our civil liberties and privacy. We can do both."

The other 2012 winners and their categories were Senator Tom Carper of Delaware, U.S. Congress/Capitol Hill; Cornelia Rogall-Grothe, Germany's State Secretary and Federal Government Commission for Information Technology, International Civilian; Rickey Branning, Manager, Information Systems Security, Computer Incident Response Team, U.S. Postal Service, National/Federal - Civilian; Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan, Regional/State and Local; and Kristopher Cox, Chief Information Security Officer, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College (Virginia), Education.

"Each and every day, our public servants in government information technology security and management play a major role in protecting and managing critical information assets," said GiGi Schumm, vice president and general manager for Symantec Public Sector. "Symantec - along with our platinum sponsors General Dynamics, HP and NetApp - is honored to recognize leaders who constantly strive to raise the bar on cyber security, here in the U.S. and abroad."