SANS Difference Makers Awards

The SANS Difference Makers Awards shine a light on the cybersecurity practitioners who are leading innovative developments in the industry, who’ve made outstanding security achievements, and who are contributing back to the InfoSec community in ways that deserve recognition.

There are thousands of cyber security practitioners out there who are quietly succeeding and making breakthroughs every day in advancing security. It's time to recognize these individuals and teams.

At the SANS Cyber Defense Initiative conference in December 2022, SANS will hold its annual celebration of the most dedicated and innovative people who made a difference in security in 2022. 

This prestigious annual awards program honors individuals and teams in the cyber security community who have made a measurable and significant difference in security. Through their implementation of security processes or technology, each person has raised the bar in enabling secure business operations and reducing risk.

SANS Difference Makers Awards Ceremony
Held Wednesday, December 14th, 2022 at 7:00pm
Located at The Washington Hilton during SANS Cyber Defense Initiative 2022


Why is this year different? 

We have expanded the awards to include top mentors, content creators and the most influential champions focused on building the next generation. This year, we've also partnered with Axonius, and have brought on Chris Cochran and Ron Eddings from Hacker Valley Media as this year’s presenting sponsors. These parties share our passion for supporting the unsung heroes of cybersecurity and the humans at work behind the technology.

The common denominator in each nominee is their willingness and ability to do what SANS calls ‘Fight the Good Fight’ in advancing the state of practice in cybersecurity.

2022 Award Categories

We have expanded the awards this year to include top mentors, content creators, and the most influential champions focused on building the next generation. Take a look at the variety of categories for which you may nominate an individual or team.
Innovator of the YearContributions have added novel and valuable information to the field
Mentor of the YearDevotes significant time and energy to developing others' careers
Rising Star of the YearNewer practitioners to keep an eye on
Article or Book of the YearPublished content in book or article form that makes a significant contribution to cybersecurity literature
Podcast or Livestream Series of the YearPodcast of live-streamed content that makes a significant contribution to the industry
Diversity ChampionDevotes significant time and energy to fostering talent and increasing representation and participation of under-represented minorities
Influencer of the YearSocial media presence provides valuable resources and connections for others in the field
Open-Source Tool Creator of the YearCreated an open-source tool that is of significant value
Team or Practitioner of the YearAn individual or team who has done extraordinary work
Researcher of the YearSecurity researcher who has contributed significant work to the community
Lifetime Achievement AwardTranscends categories; has made substantial contributions to cybersecurity over many years