Nominations open for 2021 Security Serious Unsung Heroes Awards

Nominations are now open for this year’s edition of the Unsung Heroes Awards for cyber professionals and educators

Cyber security public relations specialist Eskenzi PR has opened nominations for the sixth edition of its now annual Security Serious Unsung Heroes Awards, scheduled to return as a face-to-face, physical event in October 2021 after the 2020 edition was forced online by the pandemic.

A chance for the industry to come together and celebrate people working on the frontlines of cyber security, the Unsung Heroes Awards recognises security talent from all areas of the sector, from educators and journalists to threat researchers, hackers and penetration testers, and defenders and chief information security officers (CISOs), and more besides.

Event organiser and founder of Eskenzi PR, Yvonne Eskenzi, said: “We are passionate about getting the community together and recognising the people who protect us every day of our lives. Often these awards go to people who quietly get on with their jobs and never think anyone has noticed. These awards show that we all notice not just the louder people in life but the quiet doers behind the scenes.

“There’s nothing better than rewarding these people and seeing the delight on their faces to gain this recognition,” she added.

This year’s event will be sponsored by security firms KnowBe4, Protiviti, Procordr, Intaso and Interlocutor Services, making the event free to enter and attend.

“This past year in particular has kept businesses on their toes, having to adapt to remote and hybrid working,” said Javvad Malik, security awareness advocate at KnowBe4.

“Security teams have had to juggle availability, security, and cyber resilience, in a balancing act that would give professional tightrope walkers a run for their money. These awards are a well-deserved validation of all the hard work and effort professionals, teams, and entire organisations have put in under extraordinary circumstances.”

List of categories

The full list of categories is as follows: Captain Compliance; Godfather/Godmother of Security; Cyber Writer; CISO Supremo; Security Avengers (Best team); Best Security Awareness Campaign; Security Leader/Mentor; Apprentice/Rising Star; Best Educator; Best Ethical Hacker/Pen-Tester; Business Support Standout; HR Superstar; and Remote Work Guru. The final three awards are newly-introduced for 2021.

Award judge Brian Higgins of Comparitech, commented: “The last couple of years have shown us that there are unsung heroes in every workplace and it’s their resilience and determination that keeps us all going, often when we don’t even realise how vital they are.

“The cyber security community is no different and that’s why I’m always delighted when the Security Serious awards come around again. Check out the categories and take a few minutes to show how much you appreciate the Unsung Heroes in your working world. I can guarantee you’ll all know at least one!”

Jessica Barker, co-founder and socio-technical lead at Cygenta, a security consultancy, won the 2020 award for Best Awareness Campaign for the firm’s CV19 campaign. “The Security Serious Unsung Heroes Awards truly recognise and celebrate the diversity of cyber security professionals and teams, and they have fun while doing so,” she said.

“The team put together a fantastic virtual award ceremony which really brought the community together, regardless of the fact that we couldn’t meet in person. I would encourage everyone to nominate people who they know are the unsung heroes of our industry.”

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