We have a Hall of Famer in our midst. Winn Schwartau, the man who founded The Security Awareness Company nearly three decades ago, is set to be recognized for his countless career achievements on Oct. 1 in Dallas.
The Information Security Systems Association (ISSA) is one of the security awareness world’s most prominent bodies. This week, it informed Winn of his pending induction into the ISSA Hall of Fame, and no one will be questioning the 67-year-old’s credentials.
Winn, who currently serves as SAC’s Chief Visionary Officer, has been a key player in a still-growing industry.
Ever since he appeared before Congress in 1991 to enlighten our nation’s leaders on “computer security” — testimony that was featured in newspapers across the country — Winn has been one of the Infosec community’s most prominent voices. Winn has served as a go-to expert for the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and several other major media organizations. He was named a “Top 5 Security Thinker” by SC Magazine and a “Top 25 Influential” person by Security Magazine.
His contributions since ’91 have been numerous; countless speeches and hundreds of published works, including more than a dozen book releases. His skills as a dynamic public speaker are often praised (for instance, he is a top-rated RSA Conference speaker and is consistently featured at the industry’s most important events).
Winn has worked closely with a handful of companies in his career, but The Security Awareness Company has had a particularly strong impact. Prior to its sale to KnowBe4 in 2016, SAC had appeared on the Gartner Magic Quadrant as both a “Leader” and “Visionary,” and its eLearning development prowess was a key factor in its acquisition. It is still KnowBe4’s primary content provider, and Winn’s wife (Sherra, senior QA specialist) and daughter (Ashley, COO) have bolstered the Schwartau legacy with their work at SAC.
Nearly three decades have passed since Winn’s appearance before Congress, but he still maintains a prominent profile in the community. His latest book, Analogue Network Security, received strong support from his contemporaries, and he was named a Top 100 RSA Influencer following his appearance in April 2019.
It’s often tough to define who should and who shouldn’t be included in an organization’s Hall of Fame. A simple question one might ask when looking at potential candidates for this honor is: Can you tell the story of information security without including this person? It would be nearly impossible without Winn Schwartau.
Winn Schwartau accolades
- Distinguished Fellow (Ponemon Institute)
- Featured subject, “Information Warrior” (Wired Magazine)
- Featured expert (New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and several other prominent media organizations)
- “Top 5 Security Thinker” (SC Magazine)
- “Top 20 Industry Pioneer” (SC Magazine)
- “Top 25 Influential” Person (Security Magazine)
- “Power Thinker” and “Top 50 Most Powerful” (Network World)
- The Security Awareness Company named a “Leader” (Gartner Magic Quadrant)
- The Security Awareness Company named a “Visionary” (Gartner Magic Quadrant)
- Top-rated speaker, RSA (4.85)
- Founder, InfoWarCon
- Founder, Hacker Jeopardy! (hosted around the globe)
- Chairman, Board of Active Mobile Defense
- Founder, Trusted Learning
- Co-founder, SCIPP International
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