Time to Event

2022/10/12 18:30:00

Thank you to everyone who attended the Security Serious Unsung Heroes Awards 2022, whether virtually or in-person! Stay tuned for more information on our 2023 awards night!

Security Serious Unsung Heroes Awards

12th October 2022


Now in its seventh year, the Security Serious Unsung Heroes Awards recognises the UK’s “Unsung Heroes in Cybersecurity”.

Have you, a friend or a colleague gone above the call of duty when it comes to protecting your organisation from cyber threats? Then come apply and get the recognition you or they deserve! This is your chance to shine with a winning trophy that recognises all the hard work and dedication that goes into being a true cybersecurity professional.



Nominations are now closed!


This award will go to the IT security writer who is completely on the ball and understands cybersecurity, demonstrating this through thought-provoking, well- written articles and interviews that help educate and inform his/her audience. 

  • Luke Irwin, IT Governance
  • Alex Scroxton, Computer Weekly
  • Karis Bouher, PGI
  • Claudia Glover, Tech Monitor
  • James Coker, Infosecurity Magazine (WINNER)


This award will go to someone who has been around the block and back and contributed greatly to the IT Security industry for more than 25 years. 

  • Ed Tucker, Lionfish (WINNER)
  • Dominic Grunden, Union Digital Bank
  • Frank Satterwhite, 1600 Cyber
  • Mark Oakton, Infosec Partners
  • Mike Gillespie, Advent IM
  • Adam McElroy, KPMG
  • Professor Danny Dresner, Manchester University


Data has quickly become one of the most sought-after commodities. This award goes to the person who is always looking out for the interests of the everyday individual; making sure that customer and employee data are protected from prying eyes and their privacy is preserved. 

  • Bev Allen, Quilter (WINNER)
  • Carl Gottlieb, Hudl & Duolingo
  • James Gosnold, The Workshop


CISOs play an important role in securing all aspects of the business and implementing programmes that increase the security posture of an organisation. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it – this award will recognise the best. 

  • Ed Tucker, Lionfish
  • Dominic Grunden, Union Digital Bank
  • Christian Toon, Pinsent Masons (WINNER)
  • Carole Embling, Metro Bank
  • Becky Pinkard, Vodafone
  • Jots Sehmbi, University of Exeter


Security is not a one person job, this award will recognise the best IT security team and how they averted a security disaster or persevere in the fight to keep their organisations safe from cyber threats. 

  • Cyber 2.0 Team
  • Security Tribe, Union Digital Bank
  • Security Engineering Team at the Workshop Ltd
  • FullFact.org (WINNER)


This award will go to a professor, lecturer or teacher who leads by example to inspire and motivate the next generation of cyber security professionals. 

  • Dr Steve Mvalo, Sheffield Hallam University
  • Bennett Arron, comedian/presenter
  • Lisa Short, Professor and guest lecturer
  • Professor Danny Dresner, Manchester University (WINNER)
  • Professor Alison Wakefield, University of West London
  • Jan Carroll, UCD Professional Academy


This award will go to the person who understands and knows how to look for weaknesses in security systems and uses the same knowledge and tools as a malicious hacker, but in a lawful and legitimate manner.

Qualys Logo

  • Jon Medvenics, The Workshop
  • Kevin Williams, Cargotec
  • Glenn Pegden, Sky Betting and Gaming (WINNER)
  • Mike Varley, Adarma



The winner of this award will be someone in industry who leads a team or mentors individuals, taking the time to show them the ropes and ensure those coming through the ranks are prepared for the future. 

  • Stuart Coulson, Lionfish
  • Matt Summers, Philip Morris International
  • Alan Freeland, DigitalXRAID
  • Joe Boyle, Salt Communications
  • Richard Rigonan, Union Digital Bank
  • Mo Amin, The Workshop (Highly Commended)
  • Paula Page, CCL Solutions
  • Andrew Barratt, Coalfire
  • Lisa Ventura, Cyber Security Unity
  • Lemuel Valdez, KPMG
  • Devon DeFreitas, Beazley Group
  • Alan Jenkins, Decipher Cyber Consulting Partners (WINNER)


This award will recognise an individual who is pushing for greater diversity and inclusion within the industry – whether they’re advocating for change in recruitment/HR policies, mentoring others, serving as a role model etc. 

  • Holly Foxcroft, Stott and May Consulting (WINNER)
  • Sydonie Williams, Beazley
  • Tamzin Greenfield, Cyber Security Associates
  • Lemuel Valdez, KPMG
  • Jots Sehmbi, University of Exeter
  • Anne Woodley, Microsoft
  • Conor Coughlan, Armis
  • Anah Ahee, KPMG


In order to increase education on cyber threats and digital behaviours within the workplace, Security Awareness campaigns are often a vital part of getting the message out. This award will honour the campaign and the individuals who organised the campaign. 

KnowBe4 Logo

  • Helen Williams, Bupa (WINNER)
  • Bennett Arron
  • Ian Murphy, CyberOff
  • Gema Perez-Cortes, Canon Europe
  • Graham Day, Surf Safer Online
  • FullFact.org
  • Christine Gordon Bennett, Nedbank


Cybersecurity can be a stressful industry to work in. In fact, as many as 45% of senior cybersecurity professionals have considered quitting as a result. This award goes to the individual who makes every effort to look after the mental health and general wellbeing of their peers/colleagues.  

  • Zoe Rose, Canon Europe
  • Eoin Hinchy, Tines (Highly Commended)
  • Christine Gordon Bennett, Nedbank (WINNER)
  • Marilise de Villiers Basson, ROAR
  • Marissa Goulding, KPMG
  • Chloé Messdaghi, Cybrary



Our future cyber welfare depends largely on these rising stars.  Whether in formal education, under employment or doing extraordinary research of their own, the winner of this category will show great promise with his/her technical or practical ability. 

  • Alice Conibere, Secure Impact
  • Patricia de Villa, Union Digital Bank
  • Ewa Kapica, The Connection at St Martin’s (WINNER)
  • Claudia Whiteside, The Workshop
  • Laura Kairaityte, The Workshop
  • Liam Follin, Pentest People
  • Tamzin Greenfield, Cyber Security Associates
  • Rae Baker, OSINT analyst
  • Anne-Marie O’Donnell, BH Consulting
  • Lemuel Valdez, KPMG (Highly Commended)
  • Phoebe Goddard, KPMG
  • Seònaid Lafferty, University of Manchester

Unsung Heroes Awards 2021 - WINNERS

  • Apprentice/ Rising Star​ – Jenny Codes; Daniel Dodds (Highly Commended)
  • Best Educator – Jackie Riley, Lorna Armitage & Andrea Cullen (Highly Commended)
  • Best Ethical Hacker/Pen Tester – Dale Pavey & Guy Morley
  • Best Security Awareness Campaign – RansomAware, Talion
  • Data Guardian – Emily Overton
  • Security Avengers – CyberNews Research Team; Sainsbury’s (Highly Commended)
  • Cyber WriterAndy Gill
  • Security Leader/Mentor – Marilise de Villier
  • CISO Supremo – Alison Dyer
  • Godparent of Security – Colonel John Doody


A glance at the Security Serious Unsung Heroes Awards


There are many other ‘Security Awards’ evenings in London, most of which take themselves far too seriously. 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.

Gerry O’NeillSecurity and Assurance Advisor Director at Inforisca Services

Not only was it a great honour to be invited to Judge the Unsung Heroes Awards for Eskenzi this year, but it was also purely awesome to see so many truly unsung heroes receive their well-deserved accolades at the ceremony. From engineers to theatre companies, I can’t think of another infosec event that truly celebrates the incredible diversity of Cyber talent in our professional community. I’d hate to be working at Eskenzi right now. They have to top it all next year!!!!!

Brian HigginsSecurity Specialist at Comparitech.com

I think it’s really important to support these kinds of efforts. Unsung Heroes Awards recognizes the real people in information security, not just the ones you see in the magazines every single time. Not just the ones who get put on the news whenever there’s an incident, but the ones who maybe don’t have the time to do that because they are soldiering away in the background to make the world a safer place. And that’s why your awards have credibility.

Quentyn TaylorDirector of Information Security EMEA for Canon Europe

Great venue and event management. The awards were a great event to experience.

Nikhilesh SharmaPublicis Groupe

The event was a great networking opportunity and the awards are a superb way of recognising the hard work that those on the ground are doing in this industry. It is important to have these kinds of awards to inspire others and to continue working towards our wider goal of a bigger, more diverse cyber industry.

Stuart CoulsonBusiness Engagement Manager for Cyber Security Challenge UK

It’s great to see the industry come together in a social and friendly environment, and just have some FUN!

Dan RaywoodInfosecurity Magazine

The event was well-attended, with winners receiving trophies in addition to superhero capes and masks...Adding much-needed levity to such events that can often end up taking themselves a bit too seriously (no pun intended).

Javvad MalikSecurity Awareness Advocate at KnowBe4

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If you are interested in taking part as a sponsor or have any questions, feel free to get in touch!