Information assurance threats can surface in any environment, from a battle zone down to an office cubicle.

But Nancy Kreidler and her team know where to look - and why it matters.

"My team is mostly former military people, one whose wife is currently deployed, which brings the focus of everything we do to the Warfighter," said Kreidler, Information Assurance (IA) Program Manager for the Program Executive Office Command, Control and Communications - Tactical (PEO C3T). "These people are very dedicated to our IA mission."

Kreidler's team, which provides information assurance support to more than 30 PEO C3T systems, has also developed into an innovative resource for the greater Army. Within the last year, Kreidler provided expert advice to Army Network Enterprise Technology Command (NETCOM), Army Office of IA Compliance, 7th Signal Command and other organizations in need of information assurance solutions.

In recognition of her achievements, Kreidler will soon be presented with the 2009 Army Team Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) Leadership Award. This award recognizes C4ISR civilian or military personnel who have demonstrated excellence in leadership, which has resulted in improvements in areas such as mission support, military-civilian teamwork, customer service, productivity, Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) accomplishments and enhancement of the Army's reputation as an employer.

"Nancy's leadership in the area of information assurance has been exceptional for the Army and Team C4ISR communities," said Emerson Keslar, director of the MilTech Solutions Office, PEO C3T. "She is sought out to tackle the hard problems, and in countless cases her suggestions and ideas are being used at the enterprise level. But bottom line, her efforts have assured that our equipment is out there, fielded and secure to the Warfighter."

While information assurance is often misunderstood, Kreidler said, for her team it boils down to striking a balance between security and mission. While managing more than 120 security accreditations for PEO C3T, Kreidler is also responsible for Army Portfolio Management System (APMS) and Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) reporting for PEO C3T.

"Many people hear these acronyms in passing but don't realize the level of scrutiny they get until something goes wrong," Kreidler said. "I get questions all the time that cannot be looked up in a DoD or Army regulation. In these cases you need to do more risk analysis and break new ground because no one has an obvious answer. It can be a very grey area when people prefer to work in the black and white."

Among the complicated questions Kreidler helped tackle last year was how to establish a standard IA process for tactical units when they deploy and return to garrison, so they can securely connect to the network at their home stations. Kreidler was a key participant in the Department of the Army Inspector General/9th Signal Command (Army) Information Assurance Cyber Readiness Rehearsal of Concept (ROC) drill, which addressed key IA functional areas that pose systemic problems and developed courses of action to operationalize IA and Cyber Readiness across the Army. Kreidler continues to work with 9th SC and Army CIO/G6 in those efforts.

Kreidler also provided a direct benefit to deployed forces when she took the initiative to establish a security patch portal that allows units using Army Battle Command Systems (ABCS) to quickly determine whether they have proper patches for network connectivity. This central repository - accessed through the Single Interface to the Field (SIF) portal - allows system owners to post tested IAVA patches and make them available to fielded systems, resulting in increased security posture and compliance. Members of the Army's Signal Command and units within and outside of the continental United States are already using this tool to more quickly update their system baselines.

"Her leadership inspires her team to focus on the bottom line: the Warfighter," said Jeff Blood, a member of the PEO C3T IA team. "We know that we will receive support from her in our endeavors - that is never a question."

Kreidler said she shares the leadership award with "my entire team."

"We have a great small team where everyone knows how to cover each other's work areas, so we are never left stranded should someone be out," Kreidler said. "This is especially important because I make every effort to be family friendly and support my team's personal needs. I believe if all is well at home, people can, and will, work better because they feel like they are also supported - and I believe our PEO reaps the rewards of their efforts."