Last week's ACSC 2018: CONNECT conference was a resounding success with over 200 people gathered to discuss cybersecurity.  The ACSC's charter focuses on New England and we drew attendees from small, local companies up through global organizations with a local presence.  

As part of our commitment as an ISAO to New England, we wanted to recognize three individuals who gave back to the local cybersecurity community.  The following recipients compose the Class of 2018 Klein Award Winners. 

Rear Admiral Michael Brown (retired) and CEO & Founder of Spinnaker Consulting, is one of the founders of the ACSC.  His vision and persistence helped launch our non-profit organization in 2011 and this year Brown stepped up again to lead the planning of a robust tabletop exercise with 100 participants from 20 different organizations. We are looking forward to continuing a close working relationship as we expand our simulation capabilities in 2019. 

Katie Stebbins, Vice President of Economic Development at the University of Massachusetts, has been instrumental in working with the ACSC to launch the Cyber Education and Training Consortium (CETC).  The CETC has garnered international attention for its program to promote and support cybersecurity education in Massachusetts by bringing local education and industry together to discuss how to create a resilient cyber workforce.  Stebbins excelled at her role to bring people together to discuss how to improve cybersecurity education and create a strong pipeline of candidates for New England's growing workforce demands. 

Sean Travis, Senior Engineer at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston was honored for his work over the years at the ACSC.  Travis has been an integral part of the community, particularly with our Cyber Tuesday meetings where he contributed threat intelligence and analysis on a regular basis.  Thank you Sean for all that you do both at our meetings and behind the scenes. 

Thank you again to all the winners -- we are striving to celebrate the people who lift up our community -- by leveraging a collaborative defense strategy, we can help New England rise to the highest level of cyber resilience. 

Why are We Calling it the Klein Awards? 

To make a long story short, a new member of the team started reading Cuckoo's Egg by Clifford Stoll shortly after coming on board to the ACSC.  She was told it was, "a book almost every cybersecurity person has read."  The Cuckoo's Egg, written in 1988, details the first time a cybercrime was tracked and criminals were arrested.  The hero, Cliff Stoll, details how he tracked and helped to capture the bad guys with the help of the NSA, the FBI, and the German government.  It is a classic in our industry. 

Our staffer researched to see what Cliff Stoll was up to these days and found him happily living in California, making and selling Klein bottles -- a Klein bottle is a mathematical surface which has only one side.  Another way to describe it is as a double mobius.  Today, Cliff Stoll runs the Acme Klein bottle company, designing and selling Klein bottles from his home.  (Yes, it really is him.) 

We named our ACSC community awards the Klein Awards: 

  • To honor one of the first threat intelligence analysts
  • To honor someone who looks at the world with curiousity and a sense of humor
  • To share the idea that collaboration builds a better world and that people can best overcome the most adverse conditions when they work together 

We couldn't think of a more perfect reflection of the cybersecurity community and setting the right tone for honoring those who work to the greater good. Thank you Cliff.