RSA Conference Announces Recipients of 15th Annual Award Program

RSA Conference, the world’s leading information security conferences and expositions, recently announced the honorees of its 15th annual awards program. Award applicants were judged in the fields of mathematics, public policy and security practices. Also presented this year was a lifetime achievement award given out to an individual who has made a big impact in information security over the last 21 years. This year’s recipients were revealed yesterday at RSA Conference 2012 in San Francisco.

The recipients of this year’s RSA Conference Awards are as follows:

Excellence in the Field of Mathematics Award

Eli Biham, Professor, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Computer Science

Dr. Mitsuru Matsui, Senior Researcher, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation

Professor Eli Biham and Dr. Mitsuru Matsui have both contributed groundbreaking work on the cryptanalysis of symmetric-key ciphers. Biham, a professor and dean of the Computer Science department at the Technion-Israeli Institute of Technology, co-discovered the technique of differential cryptanalysis with Adi Shamir in the late 1980’s. Dr. Matsui, inspired by Biham and Shamir’s work, discovered the technique of linear cryptanalysis in 1993. The following year, he was the first to publicly report an experimental cryptanalysis of DES.

Excellence in the Field of Public Policy Award

Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-TX), Chair of the House Republican Task Force on Cyber Security

Mac Thornberry, a lifelong resident of the 13th District of Texas, has established himself as a leader in national security, an area in which he continues to be given new responsibilities and opportunities to help advance the security of our nation. In early 2011, Thornberry was tapped by the Speaker of the House and Majority Leader to spearhead a Cyber Security Task Force to guide House legislative action on the growing national security and economic threat. Charged with making recommendations in a number of areas including protecting critical infrastructure and sharing cyber security information, the Task Force released its recommendations on October 5, 2011 to favorable response from both sides of the House and the Senate, as well as the White House, private businesses and other outside organizations.

Excellence in the Field of Security Practices Award

Phil Agcaoili, Chief Information Security Officer, Cox Communications, Inc. and Cyber Security Committee Co-Chair of the FCC CSRIC

Phil Agcaoili has been a change agent and transformation leader in the Technology and Information Security industries for over 20 years and is the Chief Information Security Officer at Cox Communications. He has helped shape the direction of cyber security for US Telecoms through his appointment as the committee co-chair of the FCC CSRIC, and is helping to shape cyber security as a founding member of the NCTA Cyber Security Work Group. He is also guiding the direction of cloud computing as a founding member of the Cloud Security Alliance and as a co-inventor and co-author of the CSA Cloud Controls Matrix (CCM), GRC Stack, and STAR (Cloud Security Registry), and provides privacy and trust guidance as a Ponemon Institute Distinguished Fellow. Mr.Agcaoili has led security teams and has represented GE, VeriSign, Alcatel, Scientific-Atlanta, Cisco, Dell and Cox Communications in their respective Corporate Security, Privacy, Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) Councils and Committees, co-founded several companies and sold them during the Dot-Com era, secured many of the largest global companies, safely connected them at the start of the Internet era, and safeguarded the privacy for hundreds of millions of customers worldwide. He is an entrepreneur and investor, serves on the boards of several companies, and many of his protegés lead other global security teams or started their own companies.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Martin E. Hellman, Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering, Stanford University

Martin E. Hellman, Professor Emeritus at Stanford, is best known for his invention, with Diffie and Merkle, of public key cryptography. In addition to many other uses, this technology forms the basis for secure transactions on the Internet. He has also been a long-time contributor to the computer privacy debate, starting with the issue of DES key size in 1975 and culminating with service (1994-96) on the National Research Council's Committee to Study National Cryptographic Policy, whose main recommendations have since been implemented. Prior to joining Stanford’s faculty in 1971, Hellman was at IBM’s Watson Research Center and served as an Assistant Professor of EE at MIT. Hellman received his B.E. from New York University in 1966, and his M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1967 and 1969, all in Electrical Engineering.

“This year’s RSA Conference Awards winners have shown what it takes to be true leaders and role models in mathematics, public policy and security,” said Sandra Toms LaPedis, Area Vice President and General Manager of RSA Conference. “As pioneers in their field that have contributed lasting value to their organizations, these recipients have helped drive the information security agenda. We are thankful to this year’s winners and hope many follow in their footsteps.”

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