Kevin Mitnick has posthumously been awarded the 2023 SANS Institute Lifetime Achievement Award, adding another incredible accomplishment to his life.
Below, we’ll explore what the award is, the impact Kevin had on the cyber security industry, and how Mitnick Security is continuing the legacy he left behind.
The SANS Institute Lifetime Achievement Award
What Is the SANS Institute?
The SANS Institute was created in 1989 as a “cooperative for information security thought leadership.” The SANS Institute aims to provide cyber security professionals with the right techniques, skills, knowledge, education, and resources to help ensure the integrity of cyber security.
The SANS Institute accomplishes this through advanced training, certifications, and more for cyber security professionals while specializing in “the most comprehensive cyber security education, resources, and training programs for individual practitioners and cyber teams worldwide.”
What Is The SANS Institute Lifetime Achievement Award?
Each year, the SANS Institute personally selects the most exceptional information security professionals for their Difference Maker and ICS Security Lifetime Achievement awards.
The Lifetime Achievement Award is awarded to those who transcend cybersecurity and “have made substantial contributions to cybersecurity over many years.”
Kevin Mitnick’s Path to The SANS Institute Lifetime Achievement Award
Kevin Mitnick was once recognized as the most elusive hacker, even being named “The World’s Most Famous Hacker.” Kevin’s rise to this title was the result of his insatiable curiosity and passion for achieving the impossible.
Early Career Highlights
As Kevin grew older, so too did his interest in cyber security. By the late ’80s and throughout the early ’90s, Kevin landed himself at the top of the FBI’s Most Wanted list for hacking into dozens of major corporations just to see if he could.
While the media painted Kevin as a “bad guy,” Kevin’s breaches were never made with malicious intent. They were always about the fun of outwitting authorities.
However, law enforcement didn’t see it that way. In 1995, Kevin was finally forced to serve five years of hard time.
After that, protesters revolted, demanding that Kevin be freed. News channels even showed protesters holding bright yellow signs reading, “FREE KEVIN!”
After nearly 6 years of solitary confinement, he was eventually freed. After his release, Kevin turned a new leaf and began to use his skills and knowledge for the greater good: ethical hacking.
Kevin Mitnick’s Legacy as the World’s Best Hacker
Kevin’s determination, support from the hacking community, and dedication to cyber security changed the way authorities approach cyber security. He revolutionized how companies and people go about protecting their most sensitive information.
Kevin Mitnick was a worldwide inspiration and leaves behind a legacy that has shaped and will continue to shape cyber security for many years.
How Mitnick Security Is Continuing This Legacy
Mitnick Security, founded in 2003 by Kevin Mitnick himself, delivers world-renowned training and security consulting, as well as several cyber security services, such as:
- Penetration testing
- Social engineering
- Vulnerability assessment
- Red Team operations
- Incident response
- And many more
Empowered with the knowledge and techniques Kevin left behind, Mitnick Security’s team of elite security consultants, The Global Ghost Team™, still holds a 100% success rate of social engineering penetration testing and upholds the same dedication and prowess of cyber security testing.
Discover More About the World’s Best Hacker and Cyber Security Pioneer
This is just scratching the surface of what was a profound, thrilling, and incredible life belonging to one of the most influential pioneers in cyber security. From eluding the FBI and cops to revolutionizing the cybersecurity industry for the greater good, you can learn more about the entire legacy of Kevin Mitnick here.