Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Atlantic’s Charleston Cyber Education and Certification Readiness Facility (CERF) lead received the Federal Information Security Educator of the Year award June 27.
The Federal Information Security Educators' Association (FISSEA) presented Fred Bisel with the honor for his work on innovations in cybersecurity awareness and training at a conference that took place at the National Institute of Standards and Technology headquarters in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
FISSEA helps federal agencies strengthen employee cybersecurity awareness and enhance training programs. The educator of the year award recognizes distinguished accomplishments in information security training.
“I’m honored to receive this award and humbled to be recognized by this respected organization,” said Bisel.
Bisel’s work led to the construction of the CERF in less than a year using excess government equipment resulting in a cost avoidance of more than $1 million. Since its opening in 2017, more than 750 employees have taken networking and operating system classes to learn about various off-the-shelf software and to prepare to achieve commercial certification.
“The success of NIWC Atlantic’s CERF wouldn’t have been possible without the dedication and perseverance of my fellow instructors -- Kamau Buffalo and Wesley Jones -- and the enthusiasm and diligence of students in the courses we teach,” said Bisel.
Bisel and the instructors were instrumental in the laboratory’s recent accomplishments, to include NIWC Atlantic’s selection as the first Defense Department agency to offer Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud training to its own civilian and military workforce and members of all branches of the military.
“The dedicated team of instructors at our CERF has accomplished amazing things, training co-workers in Charleston and military personnel around the globe on cutting-edge technology and procedures to reduce system vulnerability for continuing U.S. military superiority,” said Ann Rideout, NIWC Atlantic senior scientific technology manager for communications and networks.
During the FISSEA conference, Bisel shared his experience with the audience on how to set up a cybersecurity training lab on a limited budget so they can offer cybersecurity training to their own employees. Other locations have already adopted Bisel’s work. A second CERF laboratory opened in 2018 to train personnel at NIWC Atlantic’s Hampton Roads, Virginia sites. A third laboratory is currently in development for NIWC employees in New Orleans.
In addition to Bisel’s recognition, the team received a DoD Acquisition Workforce Development Innovation Award earlier this year at the Pentagon for their work creating the CERF. Bisel was also recently named a 2019 AWS Educate cloud ambassador as a member of the inaugural cohort of the AWS Educate Cloud Ambassador Program.
As a part of Naval Information Warfare Systems Command, NIWC Atlantic provides systems engineering and acquisition to deliver information warfare capabilities to the naval, joint and national warfighter through the acquisition, development, integration, production, test, deployment and sustainment of interoperable command, control, communications, computer, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, cyber and information technology capabilities.