Michael Assante is currently the SANS lead for Industrial Control System (ICS) and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) security and co-founder of NexDefense an Atlanta-based ICS security company. He served as Vice President and Chief Security Officer of the North American Electric Reliability (NERC) Corporation, where he oversaw industry-wide implementation of cyber security standards across the continent. Prior to joining NERC, Mr. Assante held a number of high-level positions at Idaho National Labs and served as Vice President and Chief Security Officer for American Electric Power. Mr. Assante's work in ICS security has been widely recognized and he was selected by his peers as the winner of Information Security Magazine's security leadership award for his efforts as a strategic thinker. The RSA 2005 Conference awarded him its outstanding achievement award in the practice of security within an organization.
He has testified before the US Senate and House and was an initial member of the Commission on Cyber Security for the 44th Presidency. Before his career in security, Mr. Assante served in various naval intelligence and information warfare roles. He developed and gave presentations on the latest technology and security threats to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Director of the National Security Agency, and other leading government officials. In 1997, he was honored as a Naval Intelligence Officer of the Year.