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SANS Faculty Photos & Bios for Articles

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Alan Paller
Alan Paller

Alan Paller is director of research at the SANS Institute, a graduate degree granting institution and the principal cyber security training school. SANS' 135,000 alumni are technical security experts and managers holding responsible positions in cyber defense, offense, and law enforcement in more than 60 countries. Alan directs SANS research programs including the widely used Internet Storm Center - the early warning system for the Internet and the annual "Greatest Risks in Cyber Security" study. He also oversees NewsBites, the bi-weekly summary of the top news in security that goes to 210,000 people.

Alan has testified several times before both the House and Senate, and in 2001 President Clinton named him as one of the first members of the National Infrastructure Assurance Council. In 2005, the Federal CIO Council named Alan as its 2005 Azimuth Award winner, a singular lifetime achievement award recognizing outstanding service of a non-government person to improving federal information technology. In May of 2010, the Washington Post named Alan one of the "seven people worth knowing in cyber security."

Earlier in his career, Alan was an entrepreneur who built the first large computer graphics software company, took it public and merged it into a New York Stock Exchange company.

Alan's degrees are from Cornell University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Dave Turley
Dave Turley

Dave currently serves as Vice President of Operations for the SANS Institute. He oversees the SANS network infrastructure and is responsible for the hardware and software used by SANS.

Prior to joining SANS, Dave worked on various projects, including one of the first secure Internet applications used by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and web-based system management tools at the Pentagon.

Dave also consulted on, and developed "pre-Ebay" Internet auction systems. He holds a M.S. degree in Information Systems.


Eric Cole, Ph.D.
Eric Cole

Dr. Cole is an industry-recognized security expert with over 20 years of hands-on experience. Dr. Cole has experience in information technology with a focus on helping customers focus in on the right areas of security by building out a dynamic defense. Dr. Cole has a master's degree in computer science from NYIT and a doctorate from Pace University with a concentration in information security. Dr. Cole is the author of several books, including Hackers Beware, Hiding in Plain Site, Network Security Bible, and Insider Threat. He is the inventor of over 20 patents and is a researcher, writer, and speaker. He is also a member of the Commission on Cyber Security for the 44th President and several executive advisory boards. Dr. Cole is founder of Secure Anchor Consulting in which he provides state of the art security services and expert witness work. He also served as CTO of McAfee and Chief Scientist for Lockheed Martin. Dr. Cole is actively involved with the SANS Technology Institute (STI) and SANS working with students, teaching, and maintaining and developing courseware. He is a SANS faculty Fellow and course author. Dr. Cole is an executive leader at Secure Anchor Consulting where he provides leading-edge cyber security consulting services and leads research and development initiatives to advance the state-of-the-art in information systems security.

Stephen Northcutt
Stephen Northcutt

Stephen is a graduate of Mary Washington College. Before entering the field of computer security, he worked as a Navy helicopter search and rescue crewman, white water raft guide, chef, martial arts instructor, cartographer, and network designer.

Stephen is one of the most prolific authors at SANS, books include: Incident Handling Step-by-Step, Intrusion Signatures and Analysis, Inside Network Perimeter Security 2nd Edition, IT Ethics Handbook, SANS Security Essentials, SANS Security Leadership Essentials and Network Intrusion Detection 3rd edition. He manages two blogs, the Leadership Laboratory and the Security Laboratory.

He was the original author of the Shadow Intrusion Detection system before accepting the position of Chief for Information Warfare at the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization. Stephen founded the GIAC certification and currently serves as CEO of the SANS Institute.


Dr. Johannes Ullrich, Ph.D.
Johannes Ullrich

As Chief Research Officer for the SANS Institute, Johannes is currently responsible for the SANS Internet Storm Center (ISC) and the GIAC Gold program. He founded DShield.org in 2000, which is now the data collection engine behind the ISC. His work with the ISC has been widely recognized, and in 2004, Network World named him one of the 50 most powerful people in the networking industry. Prior to working for SANS, Johannes worked as a lead support engineer for a web development company and as a research physicist. Johannes holds a Ph.D. in Physics from SUNY Albany and is located in Jacksonville FL.


Michael Assante
Michael Assante

Michael Assante is currently the SANS project lead for Industrial Control System (ICS) and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) security. 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 and as Vice President and Chief Security Officer for American Electric Power. Mr. Assante's work in ICS security has been widely recognized and 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 member of the Commission on Cyber Security for the 44th Presidency. Prior to his career in security he 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.