NIST Fellow Earns Security Honors

Wednesday, October 14, 2015 @ 05:10 PM gHale

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Fellow Ron Ross, considered the father of the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) security standards, is receiving recognition from three organizations this month for contributions to the field of cyber security.

On October 7, Ross received the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal in Homeland Security and Law Enforcement by Commerce Deputy Secretary Bruce Andrews. Ross was one of eight winners chosen for their strong commitment to federal service and significant accomplishments in their fields.

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Ross received the honor for “instituting a state-of-the-art risk assessment system that has protected federal computer networks from cyber attacks and helped secure information critical to our national and economic security.”

Ross is a fellow in the Computer Security Division and leads the FISMA Implementation Project, which includes developing security standards and guidelines for the federal government, contractors, and the nation’s critical information infrastructure. He is the lead author of a number of Federal Information Processing Standards and computer security publications, including the foundational Special Publication 800-53.

He is the principal architect of the Risk Management Framework (RMF), a multi-tiered approach that provides a disciplined and structured methodology for integrating the suite of FISMA-related standards and guidelines into a comprehensive enterprise-wide security program. The RMF replaced an earlier checklist approach to secure networks.

GCN named Ross Government Executive of the Year on October 7 for his contributions to securing federal information systems.

Ross also will end up inducted into the Class of 2015 National Cyber Security Hall of Fame on October 29, along with four others. The organization honors innovative individuals and organizations “for their vision and leadership to create the foundational building blocks of the Cyber Security industry.”