General Paul M. Nakasone. PHOTO: NSA.

2023 Cybersecurity Person Of The Year: General Paul M. Nakasone

National security leader protects the U.S. from cybercrime and cyberwarfare, inspires action

– From the Editors at Cybercrime Magazine

Northport, N.Y. – Dec. 12., 2023

The editors at Cybercrime Magazine named General Paul M. Nakasone “Cybersecurity Person of the Year” for his outstanding contributions to the industry in 2023. General Nakasone assumed his present duties as commander, U.S. Cyber Command and director, National Security Agency/Chief, Central Security Service in May 2018.

“The NSA, led by General Nakasone, has made extraordinary progress toward securing our nation, our government, our schools, and our businesses, from increasingly sophisticated and hostile cyber threats in 2023,” says Steve Morgan, founder of Cybersecurity Ventures and editor-in-chief at Cybercrime Magazine. “Our whole industry looks to him for guidance on cyber posture, recruiting and retaining cyber fighters, forging partnerships, and much more.”

AP reports that the NSA is starting an artificial intelligence security center — a crucial mission as AI capabilities are increasingly acquired, developed and integrated into U.S. defense and intelligence systems. General Nakasone said the center would be incorporated into the NSA’s Cybersecurity Collaboration Center, where it works with private industry and international partners to harden the U.S. defense-industrial base against threats from adversaries led by China and Russia.

“Without a doubt, General Nakasone is absolutely the best pick for Cybersecurity Person of the Year,” says Dr. Diane M. Janosek, a member of Defense Intelligence Senior Executive Service under General Nakasone’s leadership. “He has made an indelible impact on the national security of America’s most sensitive digital networks,” adds Janosek, who previously served as NSA training director/commandant of the National Cryptologic School. “His vision, his leadership, his dedication and personal commitment to the American people and their safety is unparalleled.”

Janosek shares the immense responsibilities that fall under General Nakasone. “As the leader of both the U.S. Cyber Command and the NSA, he has set in motion the efficiency and effectiveness of two key agencies involved in the cybersecurity of the country in both offensive and defensive operations. The U.S. has seen unprecedented attacks on national interests at home and abroad, and with General Nakasone serving at the helm, all Americans can be confident that our cyber defenses have never been better.”

In a May 2023 statement issued by the U.S. Cyber Command, General Nakasone released his strategy and priorities to “Own the Domain,” a call to action in response to “acute (cyber) threats, pacing challenges, mis/disinformation and advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning,” used by adversaries who continue to challenge international norms and laws.

Throughout 2023, General Nakasone has devoted time to visit college campuses to speak with students, encouraging them to public service. He has been a keynote speaker at industry conferences, and he has named new leaders to the U.S. Cyber Command and the NSA.

“General Nakasone deserves this honor, not just in my professional opinion, but without a doubt, in the eyes of the thousands of military and civil service members around the globe,” says Janosek. “We are grateful for his thoughtful attention to people and his commitment to increasing the cybersecurity posture across all critical infrastructure sectors.”

Previous recipients of the “Cybersecurity Person of the Year” include Claire O’Neill, Australia’s minister for Cyber Security, Jen Easterly, director of (U.S.) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency; Dr. Ambareen Siraj, founder of WiCyS (Women In Cybersecurity); Craig Newmark, philanthropist and founder of craigslist; and Sylvia Acevedo, rocket scientist and former CEO at Girl Scouts of the USA.