SANS Institute CTO James Lyne Awarded SANS Difference Makers Award

Cybersecurity visionary and educator honoured for inspiring hundreds of thousands to defend against threats

Bethesda, MD and London, UK, January 19 2023 – The SANS Institute, the world’s largest provider of cybersecurity training, this week announced at its annual CyberThreat summit that it has awarded its Chief Technology Officer, James Lyne, with the SANS Difference Makers Award.

The award recognises the cybersecurity practitioner who has led innovative developments in the industry, made outstanding security achievements, and who is contributing back to the InfoSec community in ways that deserve recognition.

SANS has chosen Lyne as a special recipient of the Award, to honour his phenomenal contribution as CTO and for his tireless work to make a real difference in the cybersecurity community across the UK.

Not only does Lyne lead research and development at SANS, but he is also a certified instructor with SANS, working on the ground to help the community understand how cybercriminals think and operate in the real world.

Additionally, Lyne is the founder of SANS’ CyberStart initiative. Lyne has a long standing passion to bring new talent to the industry, and help those already in it develop even deeper technical skills. Amongst other national programs, the National Cyber Scholarship Foundation runs CyberStart America and Cyber Fast Track, two programs that have tens of thousands of young adults playing CyberStart to find a path to the security industry. This program builds on the national Cyber Discovery program with over 100k young adults in the UK getting a taste of the fascinating world of cyber security.

A highly sought-after speaker, he has also spoken at TED talks, on TV programmes, and at numerous industry events, giving highly engaging presentations that motivate audiences both inside and outside the industry to take their next best steps towards protecting against cybercrime.

Paul Chichester, Director of Operations from the UK National Cyber Security Centre, who nominated Lyne for the award, said:

“I can’t think of many people who have made as significant a contribution to cybersecurity as James has over many years. His endless commitment to creating accessible, engaging ways for people to learn and practice their cybersecurity skills is unparalleled. James takes every opportunity to educate those who can make a difference by bringing to life how cybercriminals work, why understanding them is so important, and how we can defeat them. I can confidently say that his creative, inspiring, and tireless work is continually protecting this country from the very real threats at our doorstep.”

Lyne responded with “It has been a remarkable journey. A career with many mistakes but also filled with the joy of meeting many wonderfully interesting and incredibly smart people. There is no greater joy than running into folks you helped introduce to the field as they’ve developed their own careers, built their own tools, or who are doing impactful work to stop cyber criminals. What I am most excited about is that on top of the work we have done – both in and out of the spotlight – is that there will be lots of far more accomplished folks following me to receive this award in the future. Cyber security has never mattered more – and yet, in a sense, it is only just beginning.”

This SANS Difference Makers Award was presented at CyberThreat 2022, hosted by SANS and the NCSC, this January.