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Security Serious Unsung Heroes announced

Awards celebrate the people of the cyber security industry on the front lines of organisations battling cyber threats

The winners of the second annual Security Serious Unsung Heroes Awards have been announced.

The awards are part of Security Serious Week, a security industry initiative aimed at raising awareness about cyber security.

Security Serious Week, from 2 to 6 October, coincides with the start of European Cyber Security Awareness Month and features a series of high-level webinars, this year focusing on tackling the cyber security skills gap.

The Unsung Heroes Awards are aimed at celebrating the people, not products, of the cyber security industry on the front lines of organisations battling cyber threats.

The format enables people to nominate their customers, colleagues, friends or professors to be recognised for the work they do behind the scenes saving their companies from cyber attacks and IT security-related threats.

Awards were given to security veterans and newcomers alike – and there was a special award for the late Stephanie Daman, former CEO of Cyber Security Challenge UK. 

“For those working in information security, it can often be a thankless task; and we, as an industry, have historically been better at giving recognition to technology vendors,” said lead organiser of Security Serious Week, Yvonne Eskenzi and co-founder of Eskenzi PR. “These awards are completely different and are all about unearthing new talent and rewarding the professionals who make it all come together behind the scenes and keep UK private and public sectors safe from cyber threats.”

The awards, started by Eskenzi PR, Smile on Fridays and the IT Security Guru, are backed by the cyber security industry ranging from Infosecurity Europe, Computer Weekly, the Department for Media, Culture and Sport and certification bodies such as (ISC)² and CREST to major corporations such as GlaxoSmithKline and Canon and security suppliers FireMon, Corero, Lastline, Mimecast, Barracuda, SELabs, 1e and Gigamon.

“There are many other ‘security awards’ evenings in London, most of which take themselves far too seriously,” said Gerry O’Neill, director, security and assurance advisor, Inforisca Services. “Security Serious [ironically] gets the mix right – recognising those who make a valuable contribution to our work, our professional community and our society but, for a variety of reasons, don’t seem to get selected for other awards.”

The winners in each category for 2017 are as follows:

Fraud Fighter: Sean O’Neil, Bedfordshire Police

Captain Compliance: Rowenna Fielding, Protecture

Cyber Writer: Rene Millman, freelance

Runner-up: Bennett Arron, TV writer/comedian

Rising Star: Audrey Budryte, John Lewis Partnership

Runner-up: Thomas Seidling, CyberSmart

Godfather: Edward Humphreys, father of ISO 27001

Runner-up: Pauline Neville-Jones

Avengers: National Crime Agency, Cyber Prevent Team

Awareness Campaign: Aviva Global Security Awareness Team

Runner-up: Royal Mail Information Security and Risk Team

Security Leader: Nick Coleman, IBM

Special recognition: Stephanie Daman, Cyber Security Challenge UK

Educator: Tania Brooks, Inscape House School

CISO Supremo – Finance: David King, Legal & General

Runner-up: Matt Johnson

CISO Supremo – Retail: Steve Wright, John Lewis

CISO Supremo – Media & Entertainment: Brian Brackenborough, Channel 4

CISO Supremo – Manufacturing: Spencer Summons, Tullow Oil

CISO Supremo – CNI: Ray Stanton, National Grid

CISO Supremo – Charity: Martyn Croft, The Salvation Army

Runner-up: Gabe Chomic, Information Systems Security Association

CISO Supremo – Telecoms: Nick Ryce, Commsworld


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