The Ohio State University Assumes Leadership of Cybersecurity Canon

Jul 17, 2020
4 minutes

This year’s induction to the Cybersecurity Canon Hall of Fame marks the beginning of a new era for this network-defender community project. We’re proud to recognize the inductees for the 2019-20 season: five must-read cybersecurity books. At the same time, Palo Alto Networks, which has been the project’s primary sponsor since it was started seven years ago, passes primary leadership of the project to The Ohio State University. 

Palo Alto Networks has supported the Cybersecurity Canon project since 2013, and Rick Howard chaired the Canon Committee from the beginning. 

Howard says, “It has been my great pleasure for the past six years to be the shepherd of the Cybersecurity Canon Project. For those who have met me or follow me on social media, you know that I love reading – any kind of reading really, but especially about cybersecurity. I got this crazy idea that we could create a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for cybersecurity books. The amazing thing is that Palo Alto Networks decided to sponsor it. Through the indulgence and support of some visionary Palo Alto Networks leaders and through the voluntary efforts of the various committee members over the years, we have built quite a substantial recommended cybersecurity library, essential books for all cybersecurity professionals that will make their education whole. I am very proud of this effort.”

Altogether, the project has named 36 books to its Hall of Fame and published some 90 book reviews.

However, Howard says, “It is time for a new organization to take on the mantle of supporting the Cybersecurity Canon Project. I am unable to contain my excitement that Ohio State University has stepped up to take on that role. My good friend Helen Patton, Ohio State University's CISO, will take over for me as committee chairman, and I can hardly wait to see how she shapes the project going forward.” Howard intends to continue sharing his love of cybersecurity books, saying, “Don’t worry about me. I will still be involved as a committee member for as long as Helen will have me.”

Patton and Ohio State University assume leadership of the Cybersecurity Canon Project starting with its current 2020-21 season. She says, “The Cybersecurity Canon is the go-to resource for cybersecurity practitioners, providing a place to begin and expand learning. I am excited that Ohio’s Institute for Cybersecurity and Digital Trust has agreed to support this terrific service. I’m excited to see how OSU will grow the Canon to include other media and partners and use it to engage students and faculty.”

The inductees for the 2019-2020 season are:

The committee has also awarded its prestigious lifetime achievement award to Richard Clarke and Robert Knake, who wrote "The Fifth Domain” (which was also inducted this season) and "Cyberwar: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It” (inducted in the 2016-2017 season).

The authors and books were scheduled to be honored at a gala awards dinner in Washington, but the decision was made to forgo the in-person event due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Cybersecurity Canon’s new home can be found within the website of the Institute for Cybersecurity and Digital Trust. Patton says that Ohio State looks forward to adding new enhancements to the Cyber Canon in the coming months and welcomes all input. 

One of the first enhancements is already in the works. Ohio State University will make this year’s inductees to the Cybersecurity Canon and all previous inductees’ works available through Ohio State’s University Libraries system. They can be found through the University Libraries catalog.

Patton says, “I thank Rick Howard and the Palo Alto Networks team for all they have done to create and shape the Canon Project, and I am mindful of the responsibility OSU is assuming, to ensure the project continues to thrive and support the security community. And yes, I look forward to continuing to work with Rick to advance this important project.”

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