Reboot 25: Industry pioneers
The following hitched up their digital wagons to blaze new trails in cybersecurity.
Whitfield Diffie, consulting professor, Centre for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC), Stanford University; co-Invented public key cryptography
Whitfield Diffie gained notoriety for discovering the concept of public key cryptography in 1975, alongside cryptographers Martin Hellman and Ralph Merkle. The concept, now known as the Diffie-Hellman key exchange, pioneered a radical method of distributing cryptographic keys and, in 1976, Diffie and Hellman published New Directions in Cryptography, sharing the method with the community. Diffie, who now serves as a consulting professor at the Centre for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) at Stanford University, was a manager of secure systems research at Northern Telecom in the 1980s. In the early 1990s, Diffie joined Sun Microsystems as distinguished engineer, where he later earned the distinction of Sun fellow. The co-author of Privacy on the Line: the Politics of Wiretapping and Encryption, Diffie has stood as a major proponent of privacy on the individual and business level via encryption. In 1996, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Security Agency (NSA) awarded him the National Computer Systems Security Award. Diffie is also a Marconi fellow, a distinction he and Hellman earned for their contributions to the field of communication and information science. He is also a recipient of the Franklin Institute's Levy Prize, among other awards.
Dan Geer, CISO, In-Q-Tel
A security visionary, Dan Geer's scientific accomplishments stretch just as far as his philosophical contributions to the field. At Black Hat 2014, the CISO of venture capital firm In-Q-Tel, which invests in technology that supports the Central Intelligence Agency, challenged practitioners to take a radical approach to security and remember that “policy matters are now the most important matters,” as they pertain to the future of the field. While delivering a keynote called, “Cybersecurity as Realpolitik,” he advocated mandatory reporting of security events at companies, as well as policy that would force businesses to be held liable for the integrity of their software, among other concepts. Having served as an integral contributor to the development of the X Window System and the Kerberos authentication protocol, Geer has boldly etched his spot among the industry's grouping of IT security pioneers. The MIT and Harvard alumnus created the first information security consulting firm on Wall Street in the early 90s, and was bestowed the USENIX Association's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011. Geer has also testified numerous times before Congress on cybersecurity matters and in 2011 he created the Index of Cyber Security. In 2012, Geer also developed the Cyber Security Decision Market.