Annual Security Serious Awards nominations announced

The convenors of the Security Serious Unsung Heroes awards have announced the security professionals and organisations nominated for the 2023 edition of the annual ceremony, which recognises cyber pros, teachers, lecturers and leaders working to make the industry not only more secure, but also healthier and more diverse. 

Sponsored by firms including training specialist KnowBe4, cyber intelligence platform Decipher Cyber, security marketing and lead gen agency Bora, and The Zensory, developers of a mindfulness mobile app for security pros, this will be the eighth time the awards have been held.

“With the advancements of technology recently, it’s easy to forget that, ultimately, in any sector, people are at the core. The cyber security community abounds with individuals who are passionate about keeping their businesses and the public safe from the threat of cyber crime,” said Yvonne Eskenzi, co-founder and director at awards organiser Eskenzi PR.

“And just as important, there are those who better the community from within by improving diversity and inclusion or advocate for the mental health and wellbeing of co-workers. The Security Serious Unsung Heroes Awards are a brilliant way for us to give back to and celebrate the efforts of the cyber security community.”

This year’s awards have been judged by a panel of security experts, including renowned security educator, author and social engineer Jenny Radcliffe, Holly Foxcroft, who heads up neurodiversity in cyber research and consulting at Stott & May and was herself recognised as Diversity Champion in 2022, and KnowBe4 lead security awareness advocate and part-time movie star, Javvad Malik.

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The awards span 12 categories, and the nominees in each are:

Godfather/Godmother of Security

  • Tarnveer Singh – CISO, The Exeter
  • Ian Glover – former president of CREST
  • Nikki Webb – global channel manager, Custodian360
  • Mike Gillespie – managing director, Advent IM
  • Dominic Grunden – co-founder, Co-CEO, and CSO at SecurME.AI 
  • Adam McElroy – group head of cyber risk, Bank of Ireland
  • Shan Lee – CISO, DocPlanner
  • Alan Calder – founder and executive chairman, IT Governance Ltd

Cyber Writer

  • Michael Hill – UK editor, CSO Online
  • Olivia Powell – editor-in-chief, Cyber Security Hub
  • Craig Fretwell – blogger and YouTuber
  • Kevin Poireault – news reporter, Infosecurity Magazine
  • Anastasios Arampatzis – cyber security content writer, Bora
  • Eleanor Dallaway – editor, Assured Intelligence
  • Kate O’Flaherty – freelance cyber security writer

Data Guardian

  • Tarnveer Singh – CISO, The Exeter
  • Anne Hinchcliffe – compliance and information security consultant
  • Alex Shelley – cyber technology manager, OWASP
  • Ayan Mohamed – founder, Digitech Oasis

CISO Supremo

  • Tarnveer Singh – CISO, The Exeter
  • Heather Lowrie – CISO, University of Manchester
  • Dominic Grunden – co-founder, co-CEO, and CSO at SecurME.AI 
  • Adam McElroy – group head of cyber risk, Bank of Ireland
  • Shan Lee – CISO, DocPlanner
  • Rob Bainbridge – CISO, Woolworths SA
  • Ian Brown – CISO, Spectris

Security Avengers

Best Educator

  • Natasha Harley – founder, Cyber Talent Partners
  • Bennett Arron – writer, comedian and speaker
  • Professor Alison Wakefield – University of West London
  • Professor Madeline Carr – UCL
  • James Bore – director, Bores Group and tutor at CAPSLOCK
  • Professor Daniel Dresner – University of Manchester
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Best Ethical Hacker/Pentester

  • Niall Buckley – penetration tester, DigitalXRAID
  • Ben Edwards – penetration tester, DigitalXRAID
  • Matt Lorentzen – principal consultant, Cyberis

Security Leader/Mentor

  • Tarnveer Singh – CISO, The Exeter
  • Nikki Webb – global channel manager, Custodian360
  • Dominic Grunden – co-founder, co-CEO, and CSO at SecurME.AI 
  • Adam McElroy – group head of cyber risk, Bank of Ireland
  • Alex Shelley – cyber technology manager, OWASP
  • Lisa Ventura – founder, Cyber Security Unity
  • Callum Bryant – head of security testing, DigitalXRAID
  • Joe Boyle – CEO Salt Communications
  • Martin Price – cyber lead, NHS
  • Lianne Potter – head of security operations, Asda
  • Stuart Coulson – cyber security ecosystem project manager, University of Manchester
  • Damon Rands – founder and CEO at PureCyber
  • Lemuel Valdez – manager, KPMG

Wellbeing Advocate

  • Nikki Webb – global channel manager, Custodian360
  • Alex Shelley – cyber technology manager, OWASP
  • Andra Zaharia – creator, Cyber Empathy Podcast
  • Qasim Armstrong – senior penetration tester, PureCyber
  • Zoe Rose – regional information security team lead, Canon Europe

Security Awareness Campaign

Diversity Champion

  • Lisa Ventura – founder, Cyber Security Unity
  • Nikki Webb – global channel manager, Custodian360
  • Andra Zaharia – creator, Cyber Empathy Podcast
  • Rebecca Taylor – threat intelligence knowledge manager for the Counter Threat Unit, Secureworks
  • Sophie Powell – co-founder, CyberWomen Groups
  • Alice Conibere – junior security researcher, Secure Impact
  • Eleanor Dallaway – founder, Assured Intelligence

Apprentice/Rising Star

  • Kieran Baumann – penetration yester, DigitalXRAID
  • Elise Ghent – president of CyberWomen@Warwick
  • Hedvig Mareng – president of CyberWomen@Coventry
  • Ruta Baltiejute – DevSecOps lead, Asda
  • Ross Mitchell – consultant, Cyberis
  • Alice Conibere – junior security researcher, Secure Impact
  • Zöe Langmead-Jones – communications and engagement coordinator for digital futures, University of Manchester
  • Ayan Mohamed – founder, Digitech Oasis
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The winners will be announced at an event in London on the evening of 18 October, midway through Cyber Security Awareness Month.

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