Fred Cohen is best known as the inventor of computer virus defense techniques, the principal investigator whose team defined the information assurance problem as it relates to critical infrastructure protection today, and a seminal researcher in the use of deception for information protection. But his work on information protection extends far beyond these areas. In the 1970s he designed network protocols for secure digital networks carrying voice, video, and data, and he helped develop and prototype the electronic cashwatch for implementing personal digital money systems. In the 1980s, he developed integrity mechanisms for secure operating systems, consulted for many major corporations, taught short courses in information protection to over 10,000 students worldwide and, in 1989, he won the prestigious international Information Technology Award for his work on integrity protection. In the 1990s, he developed protection testing and audit techniques and systems, secure Internet servers and systems, defensive information warfare techniques and systems, and early systems using deception for information protection. All told, the protection techniques he pioneered now help to defend more than three quarters of all the computers in the world.
Fred has authored almost 200 invited, refereed, and other scientific and management research articles, writes a monthly column for Network Security magazine on managing network security, and has written several widely read books on information protection. His series of Infosec Baseline studies have been widely used by the research community as stepping off points for further research, his 50 Ways series is very popular among practitioners looking for issues to be addressed, and his most recent Protection for Deception series of papers is widely cited.
Over the past 25 years, Fred has managed organizations and projects with as many as 250 employees. Several projects he led have resulted in new business in excess of $10 million, and one project led to a 5-year government contract with a ceiling of over $1.7 billion. He led a 35-person research team at Sandia National Laboratories for almost 5 years and produced several patents, copyrighted software programs, and publications in the process.