For the last 17 years, RSA Conference has recognised leaders in the field of information security. This year, the contributions of several notable people were recognised through Lifetime Achievement Award and the awards for Excellence in the Fields of Information Security, Mathematics and Public Policy.
The Lifetime Achievement Award was awarded posthumously to Lt. Col. Frederick "F." Lynn McNulty and accepted by his wife Peggy. McNulty was the first Director of Information Systems Security for the U.S. State Department, a pioneer in the field of cybersecurity, and has been characterized as the "father" of U.S. federal information security. He played a key role in influencing U.S. national security policy on everything from export controls on commercial encryption products to the deployment of key federal cybersecurity infrastructure.
A Fellow of the International Information Systems Security Consortium, McNulty was the recipient of the Federal 100 Award and inducted into the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) Hall of Fame.
The Excellence in the Field of Information Security Award was awarded to the Zurich Insurance Group in recognition for transforming its Global Security Operation. It established evidence based IT compliance assessment methodologies and strengthened its overall information security posture via a multi-year Data Security Initiative designed to move the company to a modernized information security capability.
Prof. Bart Preneel, COSIC from the University of Leuven was rewarded for his work with the Excellence in the Field of Mathematics Award. Selected from a list of the world’s leading cryptographers, Preneel was selected for his contributions to early understanding of hash functions, MAC functions, and his contributions to cipher design (stream and block ciphers) via cryptanalysis. One central contribution from Preneel is his classifying and characterizing of how to build hash functions from block ciphers (the PGV constructions), as well as hash functions based MAC functions (MDx-MAC and RIPMD-160). He also served the crypto community via the IACR in various leadership capacities including as president.
The final award was the Excellence in the Field of Public Policy Award. This went to Dr. Patrick Gallagher, Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology. Gallagher is a public servant who has been an active leader in the USA's cybersecurity efforts for both his agency and within the United States federal government’s executive branch. For the past six years, Dr. Gallagher has been an integral leader in the policy, strategy and execution of significant cybersecurity efforts across the public and private sectors. Under his leadership, NIST established the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) to demonstrate practical solutions by public and private sector partners.