Center for Internet Security Launches the Second Year of the Alan Paller Laureate Program

Applications are now being accepted for the grant program honoring the cybersecurity pioneer

EAST GREENBUSH. N.Y., Feb. 9, 2024 — The Center for Internet Security, Inc. (CIS®) is pleased to announce the opening of the application period of the Alan Paller Laureate Program. Now in its second year, the program was established in honor of Alan Paller, a cybersecurity visionary and trailblazer renowned for his innovative leadership in the field.

The laureate program supports U.S.-based nonprofit organizations, academic institutions, and individuals dedicated to enhancing cybersecurity by making controls more effective, simpler, and automated; developing and equipping highly skilled cyber experts; and enhancing the teaching of cyber defense at every level. The program awards up to $250,000 annually to eligible organizations or individuals whose pilot projects, proofs of concept, or existing programs are selected through a competitive application process.

Stan Stahl, President of Secure the Village, was among the 2023 recipients. The Los Angeles-based non-profit worked to establish a pilot project to measurably improve the cybersecurity practices of small to mid-sized organizations. “I encourage everyone to look at the program’s ‘Preferred Project Areas’ and consider applying,” said Stahl. “Just thinking about what your organization would do if it had a grant in one of these areas can be a tremendous ‘forcing function.’ It certainly was for us as we wrote our proposal. And it continues to be a powerful catalyst as we execute our LA Cybersecure Program.”

Chris Abell of the Carroll Technology and Innovation Council in Maryland was also among the 2023 recipients. "When CTIC was selected in 2023 to be a recipient of the Alan Paller Laureate Program Grant, we were over the moon to kickstart our grassroots cybersecurity in agriculture summer leadership program. Our goal has always been crystal clear — safeguarding our rural communities and vital agricultural businesses from malicious cyber threats,” said Abell. “Regardless of the size of your project, if your vision is small but mighty, or grand and audacious — every initiative counts. Together, let's fortify our digital defenses and nurture a safer cyber landscape for all."

The third 2023 grant recipient was Project PISCES (Public Infrastructure Security Cyber Education System) in Colorado. The PISCES Program, led by the Colorado Cyber Resource Center, offers hands-on educational opportunities for students as entry-level cyber analysts and provides a no-cost network monitoring service to small, rural jurisdictions.

Alan Paller was a co-founder of the Center for Internet Security, as well as the SANS Institute and SANS Technology Institute. He played a pivotal role in shaping the cybersecurity landscape. Recognized for his contribution to building the cyber talent pipeline, Paller also drove positive changes in both public and private sectors, leading to measurable enhancements in cyber resiliency.

To discover more about the Alan Paller Laureate Program, including eligibility criteria and the application process, please visit the Center for Internet Security.

The application period is open from February through the end of March, with award announcements expected in mid-May.



About CIS

The Center for Internet Security, Inc. (CIS®) makes the connected world a safer place for people, businesses, and governments through our core competencies of collaboration and innovation. We are a community-driven nonprofit, responsible for the CIS Critical Security Controls® and CIS Benchmarks™, globally recognized best practices for securing IT systems and data. We lead a global community of IT professionals to continuously evolve these standards and provide products and services to proactively safeguard against emerging threats. Our CIS Hardened Images® provide secure, on-demand, scalable computing environments in the cloud. CIS is home to the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center® (MS-ISAC®), the trusted resource for cyber threat prevention, protection, response, and recovery for U.S. State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial (SLTT) government entities, and the Elections Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center® (EI-ISAC®), which supports the rapidly changing cybersecurity needs of U.S. election offices. To learn more, visit or follow us on Twitter: @CISecurity.