Maria Sumnicht

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Session: Lessons Learned: Securing Technology on the Edge at Massive Scale

Maria Sumnicht

As the New York City Cyber Command’s Urban Technology Architect, Maria was the Cyber Security leader for the Internet of Things (IoT) and Critical Infrastructure (ICS) for the City’s fresh/reclaimed water and automation control systems. Maria led a technical team that operated cross-functional across NYC by fostering trusted relationships with City agencies, City officials, procurement, technology and legal partners.

All IoT technology being procured or renewed by NYC were assessed through her organization prior to deployment within the City of New York. New York City has one of the world’s largest deployment footprints of connected devices. Maria’s responsibility included the building and management of the state-of-the-art NYC Cyber Resiliency Laboratory which provides the City with ‘in-house’ penetration testing and Red Team capabilities that proactively discovers vulnerabilities in IoT and ICS systems prior to their deployment across the City of New York.

She led a team of subject matter experts and authored New York City’s Cyber Security IoT Policies and Standards as well as the City’s Cyber Security ICS Policy and Standards. She led a team that performed various levels of security testing on several critical infrastructure systems in NYC, and worked with the City Agency to remediate identified vulnerabilities. She collaborated with the Mayor’s Office Chief Technology team to strategize and publish the City of New York’s Municipal IoT Strategy.

Prior to working at New York City Cyber Command Maria worked in the physical security industry for 11+ yrs., designing and deploying citywide IoT solutions for Smart Cities and law enforcement. Maria worked integrally with cities, airports and police departments in defining, designing, implementing, and maturing their Smart City wireless and wired networks, IoT, OT and IT infrastructure. Maria provided technical leadership to city officials as a hands-on expert. She is recognized in the security industry for creative execution and her experience in integrating disparate technology layers into a cohesive solution. She demonstrates technical acumen in both formal and informal influence on the direction of technology adoption within municipalities and organizations.

Maria’s physical security projects won the Secure Cities Gold Award “Best Public Safety Security Project 2015” for the City of Hollister, CA. and the 2019 Helen Putnam Award in the category of Public Safety for the League of California Cities.

Maria spent 12+ yrs. at Cisco Systems and worked on companywide high-profile security initiatives and designed Cisco’s companywide Knowledge Base System and was a key member on Cisco’s Intellectual Property Security Initiative and Corporate Quality Teams.

Maria worked 8 years at NASA Ames Research Center as a software engineer, network systems administrator and as a network security professional. Maria was on the team awarded NASA Group Achievement Award presented to the Systems Acquisition Team at NASA’s Ames Research Centers Advanced Research Computational Network (ARC LAN) “For outstanding dedication and teamwork needed to design, develop, procure and activate Advanced Computing Platforms” at NASA Ames.

Maria’s initial background was as a satellite communications systems engineer at Lockheed Missiles and Space Corporation. She has a background in writing software for satellite constellation communications systems, and man-machine interface applications. Maria graduated with a Bachelors in Information and Communications (ICS) from the California State University at Chico.


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