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2020 Difference Makers' Awards Ceremony

  • Thursday, December 17th | 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM ESTThursday, December 17, 2020 at 11:30 AM EST (2020-12-17 16:30:00 UTC)
  • Alan Paller, John Pescatore

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8th annual celebration of the most dedicated and innovative People Who Made a Difference in Security in 2020. For obvious reasons, SANS CDI will be a virtual event in 2020 and the Difference Makers award ceremony will for the first time be an online celebration.

This years span the cybersecurity spectrum from election security to volunteer open CERT support to impactful supply chain security processes to educators enabling young people and minorities to get started on cybersecurity careers. Join in to hear their stories and help celebrate their accomplishments.

Speaker Bios

Alan Paller

Alan Paller is the director of research for the SANS Institute, responsible for projects ranging from the Internet Storm Center (the Internet's early warning system with 500,000 sensors around the world) to the Top Ten Security Menaces of the coming year. He also edits NewsBites, the twice-weekly summary of the most important news stories in security. But he says his most satisfying responsibility is finding people who have solved important security problems and helping SANS 85,000 alumni in 60 countries learn about those people and their discoveries. Alan earned degrees in computer science and engineering from Cornell and MIT. He wrote hundreds of articles on computer graphics, EIS and computer security, and authored two books, The EIS Book: Information Systems for Top Managers and How to Give the Best Presentation of Your Life. He has testified before the House and Senate, and in 2001 the President named Alan as one of the original members of the National Infrastructure Assurance Council. In 2005 the Federal CIO Council chose him as its annual Azimuth Award winner recognizing his singular vision and outstanding service to government information technology. His degrees are from Cornell University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

John Pescatore

John Pescatore joined SANS as director of emerging security trends in January 2013 after more than 13 years as lead security analyst for Gartner, running consulting groups at Trusted Information Systems and Entrust, 11 years with GTE, and service with both the National Security Agency, where he designed secure voice systems, and the U.S. Secret Service, where he developed secure communications and surveillance systems and "the occasional ballistic armor installation." John has testified before Congress about cybersecurity, was named one of the 15 most-influential people in security in 2008 and is an NSA-certified cryptologic engineer.

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