The Cyber Security Summit has given awards to top leaders in industry, government and academia since 2015. In 2018, the awards program was expanded to include a wider array of visionaries. The goal is to recognize innovative people at all levels who help develop and foster strategies to protect critical systems and data.
The winners are recognized at the Visionary Leaders Awards Dinner in conjunction with the Annual Cyber Security Summit. Along with recognition for their accomplishments, award recipients will get a brief opportunity to share their innovative strategies with their peers and attendees of the Summit.
Visionary leaders from across the cyber security ecosystem are eligible to receive awards, which are known as “Morrie Awards.” The awards are named after Robert Tappan Morris, the American computer scientist who notably created the first computer worm on the Internet. He later went on to make significant contributions to computer networking as well as co-found the funding firm Y Combinator and become a tenured professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Congratulations to the 2021 Visionary Leadership Award Honorees
Once again, the 11th Annual Cyber Security Summit’s Visionary Leadership Awards occur against the back-drop of COVID 19.
Sadly, the pandemic has perpetuated the need for a virtual celebration of their contribution to cybersecurity. But this does nothing to dampen the impact their work has on moving the needle to better secure our businesses, organizations and nation states. We are excited to celebrate all our Visionary Leadership Awardees on Wednesday morning at the opening session and again in-person in the spring! Along with recognition for their accomplishments, award recipients and VLA All-Access ticket holders are invited to a VIP reception on April 21, 2022.
DR. AMBAREEN SIRAJ
Professor/Director, CEROC; Tennessee Tech & Founder, WiCyS
Dr. Ambareen Siraj is a professor of Computer Science and the founding director of Tennessee Tech’s Cybersecurity Education, Research and Outreach Center (CEROC). She has served as the leader on several NSF and DoD education and workforce development grants. Dr. Siraj’s research focus is on security in cyber-physical systems, Internet of Things, situation assessment in network security, security education and workforce development.
John has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Fairfield University in Fairfield, CT. His professional IT career includes Citibank, Pepsi, Dell, Best Buy, and 3M, before retiring in late 2019. John’s career has focused mainly on Information Technology Infrastructure, architecture and management. He serves as a CXO Executive Advisor for Zscaler and on the board of advisors for Pacer Center.
Director, Cyber Security and IT DevOps, Medtronic
Collaborative leader and trusted advisor to the business on cyber security and privacy risk identification, risk management and risk reporting. Dedicated, and results-oriented leader with proven experience in cyber security and privacy governance, third-party risk management, risk assessments, data privacy and regulatory compliance across multiple industries.
Director, Target Corporation
Talya Gepner is a Director in the Cybersecurity Risk organization at Target. Talya leads Information Security awareness and training for the Enterprise and high-priority groups. Her projects include compliance training, phishing awareness, National Cyber Security Awareness month campaigns and other risk-focused initiatives.
Security Manager, Minnesota IT Services
Debra leads the state’s enterprise identity and access management team dedicated to building an environment where employees, contractors, partners and citizens manage only one credential to access State resources. Deb is building a framework of processes, policies and technologies to manage digital identities and secure access for all state technology solutions.
Student, Metropolitan State University
Alex Hepp is a graduate student at Metropolitan State University in the Cyber Operations program researching the application of artificial intelligence to honey pots to better detect malicious activity. In his professional career, he currently serves as the Chief Information Officer for the City of Hopkins along with teaching cybersecurity as a community faculty.
State Representative, Minnesota
House of Representatives
Rep. Jim Nash is a 4th term member of the MN House of Representatives serving the communities of Western Carver County. He also works in the cyber security industry for FRSecure and advocates for cyber security everywhere. When not working at the House or FRSecure he loves to hunt, fish, and cook. Nash lives in Waconia with his wife and 6 children.
Chief Data Scientist, Cyentia
Jay is a Co-founder and Chief Data Scientist at Cyentia Institute, a research firm dedicated to advancing the state of information security knowledge and practice through data-driven research. Jay is also the lead author for the Exploit Prediction Scoring System (EPSS) and is co-chair of the EPSS special interest group at FIRST.
Chief Security & Trust Officer, Epiphany
Malcolm is responsible for enabling client growth with optimal information security infrastructure, systems, policies, and processes. Malcolm was previously the Chief Security and Trust Officer at Cylance as well as Chief Security and Privacy Officer at Intel Corporation. Malcolm received a BS in Economics from UC Irvine and an MBA from UC Davis.
Kevin Mandia, CEO
Kevin Mandia is the CEO of Mandiant, a global security company that helps organizations develop more effective and efficient cyber security programs, instilling confidence in their readiness to defend against and respond to cyber threats. A security industry pioneer, he led the first company built around cyber incident response. With more than 20 years in information security, Kevin has actively been on the front lines helping organizations respond to breaches.
Congratulations to the 2020 Visionary Leadership Award Honorees
This year’s award winners are very special friends of the Summit. Amid a relentless pandemic, they have demonstrated greatness in securing our global infrastructure and developing future visionary leaders. And without their support, this 10th Anniversary would not have been possible. When so many were saying, “table it for another year,” these cyber warriors kept pushing the Summit forward recognizing that cybercriminals weren’t taking a break and that global thought leadership must never be sidelined.
While next year we will recognize award winners across all categories, this year we threw out the guidelines to honor this distinguished selection of leaders whose contributions to Summit have been immeasurable.
Congratulations to the 2019 Visionary Leadership Award Honorees
For bios and more information on the 2019 awards, please click here.
Congratulations to the 2018 Visionary Leadership Award Honorees
For more information on the 2018 awards, please click here.
Congratulations to the 2016 Visionary Leadership Award Honorees
In 2016, the Cyber Security Summit presented two Visionary Leader Awards – one for the private sector and one for the public sector. The individuals honored have made lasting contributions to improving our nation’s security.
Congratulations to the 2015 Visionary Leadership Award Honoree