Welcome to the 2021 LIVEcommunity Cyber Elite Program!

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Community Manager
Community Manager
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Cyber Elite 2021Cyber Elite 2021


We created the Cyber Elite Program to recognize experts in our community from around the globe who have demonstrated excellence in participation and contributions in LIVEcommunity. This innovative program is part of Palo Alto Networks commitment to empower outstanding members who enrich our online community.


About the Program

Cyber Elite members are our LIVEcommunity experts! They are closely engaged with the community, share technical insights, knowledge, and assist fellow community members in elevating their security posture in an increasingly complicated world of cybersecurity. Their know-how and expertise helps others protect their companies and customers. Cyber Elite experts demonstrate characteristics we believe exhibit the values that make up a vibrant and interactive technical community.


Cyber Elite status is awarded for a one-year period. Ongoing participation will be reviewed annually, and membership will be extended based on positive, engaging, and shared contributions during that time.



Key Characteristics of a Cyber Elite Member

LIVEcommunity Cyber Elite.png


Advocacy: Acts as a trustworthy and balanced representative for the community; fosters the spirit of collaboration and advancement of better security practices


Expertise: Displays a strong technical understanding of Palo Alto Networks products, and provides valuable solutions and recommendations to others


Tone: Engages in a supportive, positive, and collaborative style when helping community members learn and succeed



Responsiveness: Active and responsive with members in forums; clearly dedicated to sharing, supporting, and providing value to the community


Leadership: An advocate for all members of LIVEcommunity and consistent and their promotion best practices for Palo Alto Networks products, technologies, and solutions




Aleksandar Astardzhiev @Astardzhiev

Aleksandar started his career as a network engineer before moving into the network-security arena; he worked as Senior Support Engineer and later as Project Implementation Engineer for different Managed Service Providers, and was mainly responsible for data center and perimeter firewalls. In his current role at Sunwell Solutions LTD, he provides security consulting and managed security services working with Palo Alto Networks NGFW and EDR. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family and cycling in the city or mountainside near his home. Read the Spotlight interview with Aleksandar!


Nikolay Dimitrov @Nikoolayy1

Nikolay is a Senior Cyber Security Engineer for Paysafe Group, who has spent the past eight years working primarily as a network and network security engineer for ISP providers, data centers, and enterprises. Currently, he is responsible for the implementation of NGFW as the primary leader in Palo Alto firewalls, WAF systems, and DDOS/Bot protection technologies. Nikolay loves to assist everyone in the LIVEcommunity that wants to learn more about Palo Alto Networks and their security solutions (cloud or on-premise). He has completed both the PCNSE and Accredited Configuration Engineer (ACE) Exams. Watch the Spotlight Video Interview with Nikolay!

Remo Mittler.jpg

Remo Mittler @Vsys_remo

Remo is a Senior Security Engineer at Aveniq AG, a Switzerland based full-service provider. His 14 years of experience in network security have helped him become an expert in firewalls, vulnerability management, log management, archiving, and multi-factor authentication infrastructure (to name a few). Remo possesses a PCNSE, PSE Strata and Cortex professional certification, along with several others that help him stand out in the ranks of Cyber Elite experts. Read the Spotlight interview with Remo!


Tom Piens @reaper

Tom was Palo Alto Networks' first international support engineer in 2010 supporting the EMEA timezone. He became part of the LIVEcommunity in 2015 and, despite leaving PAN in 2020 to become a freelance consultant, has continued to be a highly involved member in the community. Tom is a Palo Alto Networks Certified Network Security Engineer (PCNSE), is PSE-P Strata certified and a Palo Alto Networks Micro-Credential Remote Consultant (PMRC). He runs PANgurus, a Palo Alto Networks VAR and Partner bringing value to PAN customers. He is the author of both Mastering Palo Alto Networks and Securing Remote Access in Palo Alto Networks. Watch the Spotlight Video Interview with Tom!


Mayur Sutare @sutaremayur

Mayur works as a Sr. Engineer with Transunion and has six years of experience in the Network security domain. He has worked on multiple projects like LAN and WAN deployments, design, implementations, and configurations of firewalls, load balancers and switching technologies. He is dedicated to learning new cloud technologies, cloud network security, and new scripting languages. He has a PCNSE and is an Aviatrix Certified Engineer. He looks to LIVEcommunity for much of his continued education and as a way to connect with others in network security community. In his spare time, you can find him watching movies and spending time with family and friends. Watch the Spotlight Video Interview with Mayur!


Steven Cantwell @SteveCantwell

With more than 23 years of experience in IT and cybersecurity, Steven is a Senior Security Architect for Cloud Harmonics, a Palo Alto Networks preferred Authorized Training Partner (ATP). Steven holds Palo Alto Networks certifications as a PCNSA, PCNSE, and PCNSC and has spent the past eight years working for Elite ATPs as a certified instructor for all Palo Alto Networks EDU classes. Steven is also the business Lead for Cloud Harmonics’ Professional Services, focusing on implementations and migrations to Palo Alto Networks Strata, Prisma, and Cortex branded solutions. Read the Spotlight interview with Steven!


Otakar Klier @OtakarKlier

As the Sr. Security Engineer at Peraton RDG, Otakar is focused on all things security and networking related. He is a seasoned security professional with more than a decade of experience in cybersecurity. Otakar holds PCNSE and Accredited Configuration Engineer (ACE) certifications from Palo Alto Networks and several others that help solidify his presence as a Cyber Elite expert. Watch the Spotlight video interview with Otakar!


Mahesh Parmar  @MP18

Mahesh is the System Administrator III at the City of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. Mahesh holds PCNSE and Accredited Configuration Engineer (ACE) certifications and has spent the past 16 years becoming proficient in network security. His experience has helped him develop a knack for working with Palo Alto Networks technology including GlobalProtect and Next-Generation Firewall. Read the Spotlight interview with Mahesh!

Brandon Pry

Brandon Pry @BPry

Brandon P. is the Senior Network and Security Engineer for the Wisconsin Legislature. Through his years of experience in IT and cybersecurity, he is an expert with deep-dive troubleshooting and debugging on Palo Alto Networks devices, holding several certifications including a PCNSE and an Accredited Configuration Engineer (ACE). Brandon is responsible for securing legislative resources and ensuring the legislature is capable of serving the people of Wisconsin at all times. When not engaged with day-to-day functions, Brandon can often be found sharing and gaining knowledge within the LIVEcommunity. Watch the Spotlight Video Interview with Brandon!


Member Benefits

From a unique LIVEcommunity badge to special Ignite benefits, members will be awarded, recognized, and assigned the Cyber Elite title within the LIVEcommunity.


Some of the member-only benefits include:

  • A private forum to enable deeper discussions about advanced topics and answers (The “Cyber Elite Members Lounge”)
  • A Cyber Elite badge that clearly differentiates a member as a top contributor and trusted advisor
  • Promoted within the LIVEcommunity and Palo Alto Networks at company events
  • Exclusive access to technical information, experiences, and resources that help Cyber Elite experts do more with Palo Alto Networks technology
  • May include options to meet privately with Palo Alto Networks team and executives in a roundtable format
  • And, we have a fantastic Cyber Elite appreciation package and Award that members can proudly display


How to Become a Cyber Elite Member

To begin your Cyber Elite journey, register in LIVEcommunity, share your knowledge and expertise, engage in discussions, provide answers, and help your peers in the community. Cyber Elite members are hand-selected by Palo Alto Networks based on positive contributions in the community, demonstrating a laser focus on bringing value, being helpful, sharing your know-how, and providing your unique expert perspective.

We want to reward and recognize community members that contribute high value and go above and beyond in assisting our vibrant community.


Start your journey today!


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Community Manager
Community Manager

Thank you for the incredible value you all bring to our community and all the great knowledge you share with others! 

Congratulations and warmest welcome to our newest Cyber Elite members!

@Astardzhiev@SutareMayur , @reaper , @nikoolayy1 

We are excited to have you join this amazing group of community experts that include @BPry@OtakarKlier@vsys_remo@MP18@SteveCantwell@Brandon_Wertz !

Cyber Elite
Cyber Elite

Welcome to the group!!!


Best Regards


Cyber Elite
Cyber Elite

Ha.. now the real work begins!   😛


Welcome new CyberElite.  It is a fun trip we are all about to encounter.

Thanks for coming along for the ride.


Appreciate every single one of you; you bring unique talents and skills.



Community Team Member

Welcome NEW Cyber Elite members. 
You really make a HUGE difference in the community, thank you SOOOO MUCH!! 



L4 Transporter

Welcome new Cyber Elite members! Thank you for your knowledge and support you provide in our community! Congrats to all

L0 Member

I'll be the one of this Elite Group sooner!

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‎04-28-2022 07:50 PM
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