Mr. Paller was a pioneer in the cybersecurity industry. He made it his mission to find and train the next generation of cybersecurity experts, and bring more skilled people into the profession. He founded SANS in 1989, and the company has since grown into the world’s largest cybersecurity research and training organization, developing more than 40,000 cybersecurity practitioners each year. He was also President Emeritus of SANS Technology Institute, the nation's first regionally accredited specialized cybersecurity college and graduate school.
Most recently, Mr. Paller was president of the National Cyber Scholarship Foundation, a new organization created to find cybersecurity talent in high schools and community colleges and encourage their development through a fun game designed to expand diversity and opportunity in the tech industry. Through this initiative, many students from diverse backgrounds found a passion and talent they never knew existed.
Mr. Paller had a historied career, including testifying before the US Senate and House of Representatives and being selected as an initial member of President Clinton's National Infrastructure Assurance Council. He was chosen by President Bush's Office of Management and Budget and the Federal CIO Council as the 2005 Azimuth Award winner, a lifetime achievement award recognizing outstanding service of a single, non-government person to improving federal information technology. In 2010, the Washington Post named him one of seven people "worth knowing in cyber security." Mr. Paller co-chaired the Department of Homeland Security Advisory Committee's 2012 Task Force on Cyber Skills and headed the Task Force on Best Practices in Cybersecurity for the FCC Communications Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council, and he was a member of the NASA Advisory Council.