Security Serious Unsung Heroes Awards 2018 Winners Revealed

The third annual Security Serious Unsung Heroes Awards  winners were revealed last night in a fun and inspiring celebration at St Bart’s Brewery in London. The awards celebrate the people, not products, of the cyber security industry. From the best ethical hackers and cybersecurity’s rising stars to the best sales leader and the coveted Godfather/Godmother of security, the categories recognised individuals and teams working hard to protect Britain from cybercrime and raise awareness of security issues.    

The free event was a chance for the UK security industry to come together, catch up with familiar faces and meet new ones while enjoying a short awards ceremony compered by the immensely witty Clive Room, Chair of the White Hat Ball Committee, who added a great sense of fun and flair to the event. The winners were branded with titles like Fraud Fighter and Captain Compliance and were awarded substantial trophies they can display proudly at home or at work.    

“It can often be a thankless task working in cyber security; and as an industry, we tend to focus on technology and innovation,” said lead organiser of Security Serious Week, Yvonne Eskenzi and co-founder of Eskenzi PR. “The cyber skills gap is a huge issue for this country and an event like this really shows off what a great industry it is to be a part of and the wonderful people that make it. Our fantastic awards night was all made possible by our wonderful sponsors, so we could throw the best party at no charge to enter or attend the awards.”    

The Unsung Heroes Awards, started by Eskenzi PR, Smile on Fridays and the IT Security Guru, are supported by sponsors Canon, CREST, CyberArk, Cybereason, Gigamon, Intelisecure, Janrain, Operatix, Publicis Groupe and Mimecast, who all make it possible to hold this totally free event.   

Stuart Coulson, business engagement manager for Cyber Security Challenge UK, said he spent three hours of constant, high level talks with a range of really great, influential and connected people and that “the awards are totally brilliant at getting the industry together.”   

Brian Higgins, ISSA-UK, concluded:“Not only was it a great honour to be invited to Judge the Unsung Heroes Awards for Eskenzi this year, it was purely awesome to see so many truly unsung heroes receive their well-deserved accolades at the ceremony last night. From engineers to theatre companies, I can’t think of another info sec event that truly celebrates the incredible diversity of Cyber talent in our professional community. I’d hate to be working at Eskenzi right now. They have to top it all next year!!!!!”   

The full list of winners are:    

Apprentice/Rising Star  

Runner up: Katie Burnell, Dtex Systems  

Winner: Millie Coombes, Plymouth University   


Best Cyber Security Sales Leader  

Runner up: Justin Shaw-Gray, Synack  

Winner: Mark Coates, Dtex Systems   


Best Educator  

Runner up: Prof Carlos Cid, Royal Holloway University  

Winner: Prof Natalie Coull, Abertay University  


Best Ethical Hacker/Pentester  

Winner: Gemma Moore, Cyberis   


Best Security Awareness Campaign  

Runner up: Institution of Civil Engineers – “Shaping a digital world”  

Winner: Cyberscene – Theatre Royal Haymarket Masterclass Trust/Kidscape/Pureland Foundation  


Captain Compliance  

Winner: Simon Onyons, Bank of America Merrill Lynch  


CISO Supremo  

Winner: Andrew Sands, BBC  

Winner: Denis Onuoha, Arqiva  

Winner: Lee Barney, Net A Porter  


Cyber Writer  

Runner up: Tony Morbin, SC Magazine  

Winner: Danny Palmer, ZDnet  


Data Guardian  

Runner up: Toyin Adelakun, Trusthaus  

Winner: James Arden, TalkTalk   


Fraud Fighter  

Winner: Helen Williams, TITAN  

Winner: Jennie Williams, TITAN  


Godfather/Godmother of Security  

Runner up: Charlie McMurdie, PwC  

Winner: Ian Glover, CREST  


SecDevOps Trailblazer  

Winner: Meera Rao, Synopsys 

Winner: Allan Yung, Immersive Labs 


Security Avengers  

Runner up: City of London Crime Prevention Association  

Winner: The Paranoids (Oath)  


Security Leader/Mentor  

Runner up: Jitender Arora, Deloitte  

Winner: Nicola Whiting, Titania  

For more information, to speak to any of the winners or to register your interest for next year, please contact: