The Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS)

The Center for Education and Research in
Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS)

It Was A Good Monday


Mondays. There are many reasons Monday have a bad reputation. Few of us would claim to like Mondays.

My Monday earlier this week got off to a poor start. I was traveling to attend a workshop (a good one, on ethics in cyber) and staying, yet again, at a hotel. As sometimes happen when I travel, I wasn’t sleeping well. I awoke shortly after 3am and couldn’t get back to sleep. Being the compulsive gadget user I am, I checked my email on my cellphone. There, I saw a new message posted from Europe that made my Monday quite a bit better. (Unfortunately, it didn’t help me get back to sleep.) Actually, as I write this on Wednesday, I’m still pretty happy, as well as better rested.

The email informed me that I am the 2017 IFIP TC-11 recipient of the Kristian Beckman Award. IFIP is the International Federation of Information Processing Societies, and the Beckman Award is one of the top recognitions in the field. Many of the previous recipients of this honor have been mentors and heroes of mine.

As noted on their WWW site, IFIP is recognized by the UN, and it represents IT societies from 56 countries/regions, covering five continents with a total membership of over half a million. TC-11 is the subgroup (technical committee) devoted to security and privacy protection in information processing systems.

The Kristian Beckman Award is presented annually, starting in 1993. According to the web site, "The objective of the award is to publicly recognize an individual, not a group or organisation, who has significantly contributed to the development of information security, especially achievements with an international perspective." The letter noted my achievements in research, education, and service; my creation and leadership of CERIAS; my guidance and mentorship of students developing security tools in widespread use; and my work as Academic Editor then Editor-in-Chief of Computers & Security, the oldest journal in the field of information security.

The award will be formally presented at 32nd International Conference on ICT Systems Security and Privacy Protection (IFIP SEC 2017) in Rome, in May 2017. I will be presenting an invited plenary address as part of the award.

I am honored to be named as a recipient of this award. I have worked with IFIP TC-11 on various things over the last 25 years, including as a subcommittee chair (TC 11.4), as a member of several other groups, and serving as editor of Computers & Security, which is recognized as the official journal for TC-11. Along with ACM, ISSA, (ISC)2, IFIP is a significant force in research and education in cyber security.

I have been quite fortunate in my career. With the Beckman Award, I believe I have now been recognized with every major cyber security award, including the National Computer System Security Award; ISSA Hall of Fame; Harold F. Tipton Award; Cyber Security Hall of Fame; SANS Lifetime Achievement Award; Outstanding Contribution Award from ACM SIGSAC; the Joseph Wasserman Award from ISACA. I haven’t done all this on my own — I have been fortunate enough to work with some outstanding students, colleagues, and staff. I will always be grateful for their collegial support.

I would also like to note that many of these awards can be seen as "lifetime" awards. Although the administrators and some of my colleagues at Purdue think I’m no longer functional, I want to assure everyone else that I’m not done yet — I still have some ideas to pursue, possibly another book or two to write, and more students to teach and advise!

Now, if only I could get enough sleep on a regular basis…but I’m willing to wake up for news like this! And no, I still don’t particularly like Mondays.


Posted by Skip Saunders
on Wednesday, October 19, 2016 at 11:38 AM

Congratulations my friend!!!!.... It is very nice to hear that you have again been recognized for not only the fine work you do, but the wonderfully creative style with which you do it!....

Hope to see you again sometime.

Posted by Jodi Lewis Lipsitz
on Wednesday, October 19, 2016 at 01:42 PM

Mazal tov, Spaf!

Posted by Rod Oldehoeft
on Wednesday, October 19, 2016 at 03:48 PM

Congrats, Spaf.  Be well, and don’t let the bastards grind you down.

Posted by Rollie Cole
on Wednesday, October 19, 2016 at 06:18 PM

Congrats. And I agree we oldsters can still make significant contributions.

Posted by Becky Bace
on Wednesday, October 19, 2016 at 08:34 PM

Congratulations! May all Mondays go as well.

Posted by Andra Martinez
on Thursday, October 20, 2016 at 04:27 PM

Congrats! BTW, I want to go to Rome in May 2017, even though I had to google the exact definition of “plenary address”. As a person who watched your vision and commitment blossom to reality and goodness for so many students and the Purdue family as a whole—I’m proud of you. Now, quit goofing off and get back to work! 🤓

Posted by Bob Gourley
on Thursday, October 20, 2016 at 06:48 PM

Spaf was great to see you today. And especially great to read this. Congrats! And thanks for not slowing down.


Posted by Diego Zamboni
on Thursday, October 27, 2016 at 01:34 PM

Spaf, congratulations! Well deserved award.


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