The fifth annual Security Serious Unsung Heroes Awards winners were revealed last night during a socially distanced virtual awards ceremony. The awards celebrate the people, not products, of the cybersecurity industry. From the best ethical hackers and cybersecurity’s rising stars to the best security awareness campaign and the coveted Godparent of Security, the categories recognise individuals and teams working hard to protect Britain from cybercrime while raising awareness of security issues.
The free event was a chance for the UK cybersecurity industry to come together, catch up with familiar faces and meet new ones while enjoying a short awards ceremony compèred by Brian Higgins, security specialist at Comparitech and diversity advocate, as well as Yvonne Eskenzi, co-founder of Eskenzi PR. To liven up the event, there was also a cocktail masterclass provided by Stir Crazy and the winners were awarded trophies they can display proudly at home or at work.
“It is perhaps more important this year than ever before to honour the cybersecurity professionals who have kept us all up and running during lockdown,” 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 virtual 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 KnowBe4, Protiviti and Qualys, who made it possible to hold this totally free event.
The full list of winners, who were first nominated by their peers and then judged by a panel of experts including Dan Raywood, deputy editor atInfosecurity Magazine, Sue Milton, SheLeadsTech ambassador at ISACA, Brian Higgins and Yvonne Eskenzi, are:
Winner: David Chan – entrepreneur in residence at CyLon
Winner: Davey Winder – freelance tech writer
Highly Commended: Raef Meeuwisse – author at Cyber Simplicity
Best Security Awareness Campaign
Winner: Cygenta for CV-19
Winner: Ben Chater – junior security analyst at Pinsent Masons
Highly Commended: Madeline Howard – Cygenta/Cynam
Winner: Toni Scullion – founder of dressCode
Godparent of Security
Winner: Pat Ryan – founder of Cyber Girls First
Best Ethical Hacker / Pen Tester
Winner: James Mullen – senior security consultant at Edgescan
Winner: Dominic Hartley – DPO at the Department of Works and Pensions
Winner: Didar Gelici – data privacy and cybersecurity risk professional
Winner: Ian Bernhardt – head of governance and compliance at Sprout IT
Winner: Chani Simms and the SHe CISO Bootcamp Team
Winner: Emma Leith – CISO at Santander
COVID Hero (new this year)
Winner: Lisa Forte – CEO of Red Goat Cyber Security