ESET Sr. Security Researcher Stephen Cobb Receives CompTIA Tech Champion Award

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By Brent McCarty, President, ESET North America

Technology executives, business owners and policymakers from around the country converged in Washington, D.C. for the CompTIA DC Fly-In Conference, which began February 5. The event focuses on the intersection of technology and public policy, which is critically important in our connected lives.

I am thrilled to report that at the conference, ESET Senior Security Researcher Stephen Cobb was named a CompTIA Tech Champion of the Year. This award is given annually to one U.S. senator, one member of the U.S. House of Representatives, and one executive from industry who has exemplified leadership in the technology sector.

Cobb was honored along with Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) and Representative David Schweikert (R-AZ). Past honorees include Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO), and Steve Sylstra, President and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council.

As many already know, Cobb has been a tireless champion of cybersecurity and privacy for nearly three decades. He has spoken at numerous industry conferences, and been quoted throughout the press on a wide variety of security, risk, privacy and policy issues.

In 2016, he coined the term “jackware” (malicious software that seeks to take control of a device, the primary purpose of which is not data processing or digital communications), which was prescient given today’s world of connected cars and homes.

In acknowledging how honored he was to receive the award, Cobb thanked the staff and volunteers of CompTIA, as well as his colleagues at ESET. He then quoted the final paragraph of his 1991 book on computer and network security, which he said is still relevant today: “The most cost-effective long-term approach to computer security is the promotion of mature and responsible attitudes among users. Lasting security will not be achieved by technology, nor by constraints on those who use it… Security can only be achieved through the willing compliance of users with universally accepted principles of behavior. Such compliance will increase as society as a whole becomes increasingly computer literate, and users understand the personal value of the technology they use.”

Cobb went on to highlight the efforts of both CompTIA and ESET in promoting computer literacy, security awareness and the benefits of technology.

Almost 600 of ESET’s 1,600 employees – including Cobb – work in research and development, empowering ESET to stay one step ahead of cybercriminals and the latest threats. 

Read Stephen Cobb’s latest research – a survey designed to assess the public’s attitudes towards, and experiences of, cybercrime, cybersecurity, and data privacy – here.