Experts Talk Cybersecurity and Understanding Your Value at WashingtonExec EA Committee Semi Annual Event

Reggie Hill, SRA International

Reggie Hill, SRA International

Speakers: Reggie Hill, Steve Schneider, and Phil Horvitz
Topics: Cyber Security & How to Prove Your Worth as an EA

The room was buzzing last week as executive assistants crowded into a meeting room at the Staybridge Suites in Chantilly for the second of this year’s WashingtonExec EA appreciation semiannual events.

Keynote speakers included Stephen Schneider, the chief solutions architect and director of technology integration at Leidos; Reggie Hill, Executive Assistant at SRA International; and Phil Horvitz, the chief technology officer at URS Federal Services.

Steve Schneider kicked off the presentations providing listeners with cybersecurity “best practices.” Individuals, he said, can do many  “ordinary things” to protect themselves and their information. Schneider recommended above all that users use different passwords for each of their cyber accounts,  that they create “strong passwords” — that include upper and lower case letters numbers and symbols — and that they remain cautious when accessing and disseminating information over “open wifi” like that provided at local coffee shops.

 Stephen Schneider, Chief Solutions & Director of Technology Integration, Leidos

Stephen Schneider, Chief Solutions & Director of Technology Integration, Leidos

“We are all our own best advocates when it comes to cybersecurity,” Schneider said, noting that occurrences that look suspicious on the internet tend to be.

Phil Horvitz, too, spoke about cybersecurity, reiterating the value of acting to protecting oneself in the ever-changing digital world. Horvitz warned of phishing, which is the attempt to acquire sensitive, personal information by misleading the user and pretending to be a trustworthy entity.

He also encouraged internet users to: (1) Turn on the “Find My iPhone” application; (2) Use the search engines Chrome & Safari over Internet Explorer; and (3) Turn on two-factor verification/authentication everywhere you can, including for your Apple ID, passwords and financial institutions.

EA Committee member Reggie Hill keynoted spoke to his peers on the topic of “how to sell yourself in a volatile environment.”

Phil Horvitz, CTO, URS Federal Services

Phil Horvitz, CTO, URS Federal Services

He laid out six specific ways EAs could sell themselves to their bosses so as to receive adequate compensation for their value. The first step to receiving proper compensation, Hill said is “understanding your own value,” and how that value compares to the company’s perceived value of your position.

He encouraged EAs to think outside the box when performing tasks, to do more than what is expected, to demonstrate a willingness to learn and take on surplus tasks, to form partnerships with their superiors, to understand the industry and its key players, and to “know your work.”

Previous guest speakers for the groups include Steven Gaffney, communication expert and author, Sid Fuchs, President and CEO of MacAulay-Brown, Inc. (MacB), Mac Curtis, President and CEO of The SI Organization, Donna Morea, former President of CGI and founder of the Adesso Group, and Melissa Hathaway, former Acting Senior Director for Cyberspace for the National Security and Homeland Security Councils and President of Hathaway Global Strategies.

EAs gathered at the Staybridge Suites in Chantilly last week for the Committee's semiannual event.

EAs gathered at the Staybridge Suites in Chantilly last week for the Committee’s semiannual event.

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