Reflecting on the Security Serious Unsung Heroes Awards 2023

Logo for the security serious unsung heroes awards 2023

The cybersecurity industry is full of heroes. People who work tirelessly behind the scenes to protect individuals, organizations, and even entire nations from cybercrime. And yet, we never hear about them; the only time cybersecurity makes the headlines is when there’s been some kind of disaster. With this in mind, Bora was proud to sponsor this year’s 2023 Security Serious Unsung Heroes Awards, an event that honors the dedicated individuals who make the industry what it is. We were incredibly proud to sponsor an award that’s so close to our heart: Cyber Writer of the Year.

The event, held in the stunning Balfour St Barts, London, a stone’s throw away from the historic Spitalfields Market, had a typically exceptional turnout. Cybersecurity professionals traveled from across the country to celebrate the industry’s best and brightest. Old friends caught up, and drinks flowed before finally, the lights dimmed, and the awards began.

As the crowd hushed, industry legends Clive Room and Yvonne Eskenzi began announcing the winners. In no particular order, they were:

  • Best Educator – James Bore, CAPSLOCK
  • Favourite Loser – Bennett Arron
  • Data Guardian – Sarah Clarke, Infospectives
  • CISO Supremo – Shan Lee, Doc Planner
  • Diversity Champion – Rebecca Taylor, Secureworks
  • Security Leader/Mentor – Stuart Coulson, University of Manchester
  • Rising Star – Elise Ghent, CyberWomen@Warwick & Hedvig Mareng, CyberWomen@Coventry
  • Cybersecurity Wellbeing Advocate – Nikki Webb, Custodian360
  • Best Security Awareness Campaign – Bank of Ireland
  • Security Avengers – National Crime Agency
  • Best Ethical Hacker/Pentester – Matt Lorentzen, Cyberis
  • Godfather of Security – Mike Gillespie, Advent IM

And we can’t forget the honourable mentions:

  • Rising Star – Keiran Baumann, DigitalXRAID
  • Godfather of Security – Ian Glover, Former President of Crest

But that leaves just one more award: Cyber Writer. This award is important to Bora for a couple of reasons. First, as we’ve mentioned, we sponsored this award. Second, our very own Anastasios (Tassos) Arampatzis was nominated. Bora chose to sponsor this award because not only does cyber writing make up a large part of what we do, but we’re big believers in the power of the written word. While CISOs, pentesters, mentors, and all other cybersecurity professionals are invaluable to the industry, we believe that good writing is the most important of all.

Effective writing can raise cybersecurity awareness, close the skills gap, bring down attack rates, and more. Twenty years ago, few people knew about cybersecurity. Today, it’s the focus of major private and public sector initiatives, boasts eye-watering budget allocations, and regularly fills out the world’s largest conference centers. Bora strongly believes that without dedicated writers, this growth would have happened. So, congratulations to all the nominees and Micheal Hill of CSO Online for taking home the award.

These annual awards are always a highlight for us. Writing on endless cybersecurity incidents and breaches, while we love every minute, can leave you wanting more positive news. Celebrating the people who work so hard with so little recognition and rubbing shoulders with the incredibly warm and welcoming people of the cybersecurity industry really lifts your spirits. Events like these are an invaluable opportunity to connect with industry peers face to face. Since the pandemic and the dawn of remote working models, these opportunities have felt particularly precious. To eat, drink, and celebrate with the people who care as much about cyber as we do is a special treat.

So, that’s it for another year. Congratulations to all the winners, honorable mentions, and nominees for Security Serious Unsung Heroes 2023. If we don’t cross paths at one of the many upcoming conferences, we look forward to seeing you all again next time.

Reflecting on the Security Serious Unsung Heroes Awards 2023
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