SANS Difference Makers Awards 2018

The people and organizations who made a difference in security in 2018.

On December 17, 2018 SANS Institute announced the winners of the SANS 2018 Difference Makers Awards at the SANS Cyber Defense Initiative conference in Washington DC, celebrating the most dedicated and innovative "People Who Made a Difference in Security in 2018."

According to John Pescatore, SANS Director of Emerging Security Trends, "The winners of this year's Difference Makers Awards were selected from among a stellar group of individuals and teams from within the cyber security community. Their successful implementation of security processes and/or technology have resulted in meaningful and measurable advances in security. It is my pleasure to recognize this year's group of talented individuals for their outstanding achievements."

Winners of the 2018 SANS Difference Makers Awards include:

Page Hoeper and John Manferdelli, Defense Science Board (DSB) Task Force on Supply Chain Cybersecurity
Hoeper and Manferdelli played leading roles on the task force which recommended a set of technical and organizational measures for acquiring and developing more secure hardware and software technologies. The task force also recommended validating the security of deployed systems. These recommendations led to changes in DoD acquisition policy (an enclosure to DoD Instruction 5000.02), chartering of a central DoD organization to improve the security assurance of newly developed systems (the JFAC or Joint Federated Assurance Center), and enhanced security testing of deployed systems. The work of the DSB task force has led to effective actions by the DoD that address the challenges of supply chain security.

Michel Cukier, Director for the Advanced Cybersecurity Experience for Students (ACES) at the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies
Cukier established a pathway for the brightest and most talented high school students to have an intense, industry-supported focus on cyber security as early as their freshman and sophomore years. His efforts are paving the way towards providing much needed answer to the question those talented young people will be asking when they start looking at colleges.

Deb Snyder CISO, State of New York
Snyder integrated the CIS Controls as a critical component of New York's statewide cyber security program framework. Under her direction, the NY CISO office created a Critical Security Controls Assessment Model, based on the CIS Controls, and used it to conduct gap assessments, determine capability maturity, and establish current and desired future state security profiles. This model provided a practical means of quickly building an understanding of cyber risk concerns. It also helped define a clear roadmap for monitoring and enhancing the state's security posture. The CIS Controls served to validate and provide specific cyber defense actions and industry-recommended practices to reduce risk.

Chris Sanders, Director, Rural Technology Fund
Sanders is a highly skilled cyber security practitioner and author. He founded and serves as the director of the Rural Technology Fund which works to lower the barriers faced by rural students and ensures that they have an easier road to technology-based careers. Sanders is actively involved in the mentorship of high school and college students who are interested in computer science and information security. He helped found the first-ever Computer Security Club at the College of Charleston as an industry sponsor and mentor.

Hernan Armbruster Vice President, Trend Micro
Armbruster led Trend Micro's efforts to work with the Organization of American States (OAS) to create the OAS Cyberwomen Challenge, a capture the flag (CTF) event series. These events focus on developing cyber security skills in women who are new to the field or want to expand their skillset. The program encourages female engineers to build and grow their careers in cyber security by hosting CTF competitions across Latin America and Washington D.C.

Colonel Donald Bray (Retired)
As part of a long and distinguished career, COL Bray served as the first Commander of Cyber Protection Brigade (CPB) responsible for establishing the Army's 20 active duty Cyber Protection Teams (CPTs) and six Command Cyber Readiness Inspection (CCRI) teams. He established a comprehensive assessment and training program, training range/environment and R&D section - Network Engineering Research and Development (NERD) - to support CPT and CCRI missions.

Lieutenant General Ed Cardon (Retired)
LTG Cardon has commanded at every level, from company through Army Service Component Command. As the Commanding General of ARCYBER, he, along with COL Don Bray, stood up the Army Cyber Protection Brigade (CPB) in September of 2014. The CPB commands 20 Cyber Protection Teams (CPTs) that are operational and responding to real-life cyber and ICS security missions around the globe. LTG Cardon also inspired the creation of the SANS Cyber Situational Training Exercises (Cyber STX) in which the CPB partakes today for CPT validation.

Chet Maciag, Professor, Utica College
Professor Maciag teaches CYB 671-Open Source Intelligence. He has inspired students in a wide variety of fields (such as nuclear physics) to apply open source intelligence concepts to their research and future careers. He contributes to measurable increases in cyber security and encourages women to enter the field. He has also demonstrated innovation by applying open source intelligence concepts to the field of nuclear non-proliferation.

John Scott, Security Awareness Director, Bank of England
Scott is a thought leader in the awareness field, leading new projects and concepts at the Bank such as at home, personalized security briefings for executives, hosting onsite mobile device clinics and hacking demos. Even more important are his contributions to the awareness community, including being one of the most active members of the security awareness community forum, holding board member positions for numerous security awareness summits, and looking to grow that passion into become a SANS instructor.

Matthew Witten, Information Security Officer, Martin's Point Health Care
Witten's nimble, five-person IT department protects critical health records for more than 70,000 patients. Witten and his team identified and implemented process and technology changes that have enabled him to reduce the expertise required and dramatically improve the performance of the organization's security operations center by leveraging newly-minted and second-career security professionals. His team includes a SOC of five individuals - one, a registered oncology nurse who found a second career with the MPHC security operations team.