SANS Technology Institute Announces Inaugural Winners of Assante Scholar Awards

Bethesda, Md. - March 11, 2021 - The SANS Technology Institute (, the nation’s premiere college for cybersecurity, has announced the first three winners of the Assante Scholar Award. This award is given to outstanding students in the field of industrial control systems and is named in honor of the late Mike Assante, a pioneer the ICS security field. The awards were presented by SANS Technology Institute president Alan Paller in a virtual ceremony during the SANS ICS Security Summit.

The 2021 winners of the Assante Scholar Awards are Kristy Cappelli of Washington, DC, Craig Raslawski of Georgia, and Rhianna Zuby of Ohio, all of whom completed the SANS Technology Institute’s undergraduate certificate program in Applied Cybersecurity and displayed academic excellence in an industrial control system security course (ICS/SCADA Security Essentials) originally developed by Assante.

At the presentation of the awards, Alan Paller recalled Mike Assante advising him that the only defense against hostile nations seeking to attack our power systems would be extraordinary practitioners who not only have a deep understanding of cybersecurity, but are completely knowledgeable of the technical environment – the network, systems, and applications – they are defending.

“These three award winners are exceptional students who are tenacious, curious and quick learners,” said Alan Paller. “They also have personalities that anyone would want to hire. If Mike were looking at me now and asking, ‘Did you find those extraordinary practitioners?’ I’d say that we did.”

About Mike Assante

Mike Assante was the founder of the Industrial Control Systems Security (ICS) curriculum, ICS and SCADA Lead, and Director of Industrials and Infrastructure at the SANS Institute. A pioneer in the field of industrial control system cybersecurity, Mike made a long list of remarkable contributions to the advancement of critical infrastructure system design, threat intelligence, detection, mitigation, and incident response capabilities within the ICS community. Mr. Assante passed away in 2019, and in recognition of his legacy, the SANS Technology Institute established the Assante Scholar Award, which is eligible to undergraduate and graduate students.

About the SANS Technology Institute

The SANS Technology Institute (, America’s premier college for cybersecurity, offers career-focused undergraduate and graduate programs distinguished by:

  • A world-class faculty of highly skilled information security practitioners
  • Hands-on cybersecurity courses that are continually updated for real-world relevance
  • Industry-recognized GIAC certifications earned in each of its programs
  • Innovative online and in-person course delivery options, including 100% online options for all programs
  • The proven success of its alumni

In the field of industrial control systems security, the SANS Technology Institute offers a master’s degree with an optional Special Focus Area in Industrial Control System Security, a graduate certificate in ICSS, and elective options in industrial control systems security in its bachelor’s degree and undergraduate certificate programs.

Cybersecurity is all the SANS Technology Institute teaches – and nobody does it better. Learn more at

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. (