Rhode Island Governor Raimondo and Christina M. Cosgrove Named Winners of the SANS Institute's 2017 Difference Makers Awards

Bethesda, Md. – SANS Institute today announced Governor Raimondo of Rhode Island and Christina M. Cosgrove have been named among the winners of the 2017 SANS Difference Makers Award. The Difference Maker Awards were created to honor the unsung heroes in cyber security whose innovation, skill, and hard work have resulted in real successes in information security.

"Rhode Island's Congressional delegation have been leaders in cybersecurity for more than a decade. Here we see Rhode Island once again showing its leadership," said Alan Paller, National Program Manager, U.S. CyberStart and Director of Research, SANS Institute.

Governor Raimondo was recognized for her leadership in bringing the CyberStart pilot program to the students of Rhode Island. CyberStart is a forward-thinking skills program designed to inspire the next generation of cyber security professionals while identifying talented young Americans. In addition to providing a unique learning opportunity and scholarships for students, the program can lead to job growth and improved cyber security in Rhode Island.

The CyberStart pilot program was managed by Ms. Cosgrove who, along with her team, signed up 92 students in just two weeks; 50 percent of whom went on to qualify for the CyberStart Game. Of the nearly 3,300 students competing from seven states, two Rhode Island high school and college students were in the overall top 15 nationally. Four Rhode Island students won scholarships for more advanced education in cyber security.

Participant Sandra Lopes, a sophomore at the Community College of Rhode Island sent a note to Governor Raimondo saying, "Thank you so much for the opportunity. I enjoyed trying to figure out codes and questions. I think it's a great way to teach and introduce people to cyber security with a game."

To learn more about the SANS Difference Makers Awards, visit: www.sans.org/cyber-innovation-awards

About SANS Institute

The SANS Institute was established in 1989 as a cooperative research and education organization. Today, SANS is the most trusted and, by far, the largest provider of cyber security training and certification to professionals in government and commercial institutions world-wide. Renowned SANS instructors teach more than 60 courses at in-person and virtual cyber security training events and on demand. GIAC, an affiliate of the SANS Institute, validates practitioner skills through more than 35 hands-on, technical certifications in cyber security. The SANS Technology Institute, a regionally accredited independent subsidiary, offers a master’s degree, graduate certificates, and an undergraduate certificate in cyber security. SANS Security Awareness, a division of SANS, provides organizations with a complete and comprehensive security awareness solution, enabling them to easily and effectively manage their ‘human’ cybersecurity risk. SANS also delivers a wide variety of free resources to the InfoSec community including consensus projects, research reports, webcasts, podcasts, and newsletters; it also operates the Internet's early warning system–the Internet Storm Center. At the heart of SANS are the many security practitioners, representing varied global organizations from corporations to universities, working together to support and educate the global information security community. (https://www.sans.org)