2016 Rising Star Awards
Information Security Branch Chief and Senior Privacy Official, Office of Inspector General, Department of Health and Human Services
- By Mark Rockwell
- Nov 11, 2016
As both a lawyer and an IT professional, Hillary Lewis is equally comfortable discussing privacy law with the Office of the General Counsel and working with the IT infrastructure team. That rare blend of talents has helped her have an impact on privacy and security at the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General in her first year on the job.
The office focuses on protecting the integrity of $1 trillion in federal health care spending, and the agency receives numerous requests for information to support investigative journalists and court cases. Thanks to Lewis’ efforts, a new framework for preserving and accessing important electronic documents has enabled the OIG to more efficiently, accurately and rapidly respond to those types of requests.
Lewis also helped revamp security awareness training for the OIG’s 1,600-person nationwide workforce. She personally designed innovative materials and coordinated their distribution to more than 80 locations from Hawaii to Puerto Rico. The eye-catching materials got employees’ attention and helped spread the word about security issues. She complemented those efforts with a series of mock spear-phishing attacks to test employees’ training.
Her efforts dramatically shortened the turnaround time for employees’ required cybersecurity and privacy training. More important, the improved training has resulted in fewer security incidents and better protection of sensitive information.
And as if that wasn’t enough, Lewis helped the OIG get an authority to operate in a commercial data center, which allows the agency to reduce costs and improve performance while maintaining appropriate security standards.
Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.
Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.
Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.
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