Katie Toskey Named Winners of the SANS Institute's 2017 Difference Makers Awards

12/5/17

SANS Institute today announced Governor Snyder and Michigan's Senior Federal Policy Representative Katie Toskey have been named among the winners of the 2017 SANS Difference Makers Award. The Difference Maker Awards were created to honor the unsung heroes in cyber security whose innovation, skill, and hard work have resulted in real successes in information security.

"The cybersecurity talent among Michigan students is impressive," said Alan Paller, National Program Manager, U.S. CyberStart and Director of Research, SANS Institute.

Governor Snyder was recognized for his leadership in finding new ways to develop the cyber-capable workforce by bringing CyberStart pilot program to students in Michigan. CyberStart is a forward-thinking skills program designed to inspire the next generation cyber security professionals while identifying talented young Americans. In addition to providing a unique learning opportunity and scholarships for students, the program can lead to job growth and improved cyber security in Michigan.

The CyberStart pilot program was managed by Ms. Toskey who in just two weeks, with the help of her communication team, signed up 104 Michigan students; 60 percent of the students qualified for the CyberStart Game. Of the nearly 3,300 students competing from seven states, three Michigan high school and college students were in the overall top 50 nationally. Eight Michigan students won scholarships for more advanced education in cyber security.

Participant Robert Corser, a junior at Spring Arbor University sent a note to Governor Snyder saying, "I really appreciate this program and think it is a great way for someone to test their skills or to get people interested in cyber security who otherwise wouldn't be."

To learn more about the SANS Difference Makers Awards, visit: www.sans.org/cyber-innovation-awards

About SANS Institute

The SANS Institute was established in 1989 as a cooperative research and education organization. SANS is the most trusted and, by far, the largest provider of cybersecurity training and certification to professionals at governments and commercial institutions world-wide. Renowned SANS instructors teach over 50 different courses at more than 200 live cybersecurity training events as well as online. GIAC, an affiliate of the SANS Institute, validates employee qualifications via 30 hands-on, technical certifications in information security. The SANS Technology Institute, a regionally accredited independent subsidiary, offers master's degrees in cyber security. SANS offers a myriad of free resources to the InfoSec community including consensus projects, research reports, and newsletters; it also operates the Internet's early warning system--the Internet Storm Center. At the heart of SANS are the many security practitioners, representing varied global organizations from corporations to universities, working together to help the entire information security community. (www.SANS.org)

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