RSA Conference, the world's leading information security conferences and expositions, today announced the recipients of its 24th annual awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Award for Excellence in Mathematics. This year, for the first time, the International Association for Cryptologic Research (IACR) co-sponsored the Mathematics Award with RSA Conference.
Established in 1998, the RSA Conference Awards continue to acknowledge the outstanding contributions of individuals and/or organizations whose work helps to continue the fight against cybercrime and help prepare professionals within the industry to perform their jobs at the highest possible level.
"The RSA Conference Awards celebrate inspirational people whose contributions have had a profound, long-lasting effect on the industry and influenced the next generation of industry professionals," said Linda Gray Martin, Vice President, RSA Conference. "These awards are just one way we can recognize their achievements and thank them for their dedication to advancing the field of cybersecurity."
Lifetime Achievement Award
The Lifetime Achievement Award honors outstanding leaders who have made significant contributions to the advancement of the cybersecurity industry over their lifetime. Past recipients represent several of the most influential minds in the field whose work continues to have a lasting impact.
The RSA Conference 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award is posthumously awarded to: Alan Paller
Alan founded SANS in 1988, which provides advanced training for 45,000 cybersecurity technologists annually, and was the former president of SANS Technology Institute, the first regionally accredited college focused on educating future cyber stars. Alan served on the board of the National Cyber Scholarship Foundation and led CyberStart, a nationwide on-ramp that allows students to discover and demonstrate cyber talent. He testified before Congress, was a charter member of the President's National Infrastructure Assurance Council, and co-chaired both the DHS Task Force on CyberSkills and the FCC Task Force on Best Practices in Cybersecurity. In 2010, The Washington Post included Alan on its list of "seven people worth knowing in cybersecurity."
Over the years at RSA Conference, Alan led an annual keynote discussion on the most dangerous new attack vectors, to teach companies about what techniques are in use today, what is coming next, and what organizations can do to prepare. During that same session this year titled "The Five Most Dangerous New Attack Techniques," the current president of SANS Technology Institute Ed Skoudis will accept the award on his former colleague's behalf. More information about Alan Paller's legacy can be found here.
"Alan Paller was a beloved colleague and treasured mentor to countless people throughout the cybersecurity community. I can think of no one more deserving of the RSAC Lifetime Achievement Award than the man who dedicated his life to vastly improve cybersecurity practitioners' skills to thwart ever increasing threats," said Ed Skoudis, President of the SANS Technology Institute and Fellow at the SANS Institute. "It is an honor to accept the award on behalf of Alan and his family. Alan was one of the first true visionaries in cybersecurity, with an unmatched passion for educating students. Due to Alan's commitment, hard work and kindness, hundreds of thousands of students have become better cyber defenders. His legacy and lifetime dedication continue to embody the mission of the SANS Institute."
Award for Excellence in the Field of Mathematics, Co-Sponsored by IACR
Each year, RSA Conference recognizes noteworthy work in cryptography and mathematics. Award recipients are determined by an esteemed judging committee who seek to recognize innovation and ongoing contributions to the industry. Dozens of nominated individuals from affiliated organizations, universities or research labs compete each year for this award.
Recipients of the RSA Conference 2022 Excellence in the Field of Mathematics award are:
Professors Cynthia Dwork and Moni Naor
Cynthia Dwork, a professor of Computer Science at the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University and a Distinguished Scientist at Microsoft Research, is known for establishing the pillars on which every fault-tolerant system has been built atop for decades. Her innovations modernized cryptography to cope with the ungoverned interactions of the internet through the development of non-malleable cryptography, formed the basis of crypto currencies through proofs of work, placed privacy-preserving data analysis on a firm mathematical foundation, and ensures statistical validity in exploratory data analysis, through differential privacy.
"RSA Conference is an important venue for the exchange of ideas in the cybersecurity ecosystem. I am deeply honored to join the ranks of past recipients of this prestigious award that recognizes foundational research," said Dwork. "The threats to privacy have never been greater, and advancements in technology means more cybersecurity risk. My research, work, students, and university will continue to play a key role in helping innovation preserve these values."
Moni Naor is a professor of Computer Science at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel specializing in Cryptography and Complexity. He is well known for his work connecting cryptography and data structure in adversarial environments. In 1992, he collaborated with Cynthia Dwork on "Proofs of Work" to combat denial-of-service attacks and other service abuses, such as spam, which is now famous for its use with Bitcoin and blockchain technologies. He has proposed other fundamental concepts that are at the heart of today's cryptography, including non-malleability, broadcast encryption, tracing traitors, small bias probability, and the efficiency of falsifying assumptions.
"The RSA Conference Excellence in the Field of Mathematics Awards has a long list of impressive and impactful recipients dating back to 1998 with Shafi Goldwasser receiving it. I am honored to say that I am now part of the amazing group of cryptographers who have received it," said Naor. "I strongly believe advancements in the field of cryptography will continue to prove necessary as digital communication and usage accelerates. I remain dedicated to making a lasting impact in the field."
“The IACR is proud to join RSAC in co-sponsoring the Excellence in the Field of Mathematics Award. As the worldwide professional society for researchers in cryptography and cryptanalysis, we are dedicated to recognizing individuals who have excelled in our field and advancing awareness of the role cryptology plays in a modern, digitally connected life,” said Michel Abdalla, President, IACR. “This year we celebrate the work of Professors Dwork and Naor, and the impact they individually and collectively have had on the cryptography industry and cybersecurity at large.”
RSA Conference and IACR presented the Excellence Award in the Field of Mathematics Award on Tuesday, June 7, 2022.
For more information regarding RSA Conference 2022, taking place at the Moscone Center in San Francisco from June 6-9, 2022, visit www.rsaconference.com/usa.
About RSA Conference
RSA Conference is the premier series of global events and year-round learning for the cybersecurity community. RSAC is where the security industry converges to discuss current and future concerns and have access to the experts, unbiased content and ideas that help enable individuals and companies to advance their cybersecurity posture and build stronger and smarter teams. Both in-person and online, RSAC brings the cybersecurity industry together and empowers the collective "we" to stand against cyberthreats around the world. RSAC is the ultimate marketplace for the latest technologies and hands-on educational opportunities that help industry professionals discover how to make their companies more secure while showcasing the most enterprising, influential, and thought-provoking thinkers and leaders in cybersecurity today. For the most up-to-date news pertaining to the cybersecurity industry visit www.rsaconference.com. Where the world talks security.
About the International Association for Cryptologic Research (IACR)
The International Association for Cryptologic Research (IACR) is a non-profit organization devoted to supporting the promotion of the science of cryptology. Cryptology is the science of the making and breaking of encryption algorithms, but in the modern world it encompasses so much more. You use cryptology all the time, when banking, when using a mobile phone, when opening your car door. You are even using it now when you are reading this web page.
IACR organize a series of conferences and workshops. IACR publishes the Journal of Cryptology, in addition to the proceedings of its conference and workshops. IACR also maintains the Cryptology ePrint Archive, an online repository of cryptologic research papers aimed at providing rapid dissemination of results. For more information, please visit www.iacr.org.