iSANZ ceremony recognises Aotearoa's efforts for 2022
Various cybersecurity professionals, firms and initiatives were honoured at last night's Information Security Awards of New Zealand (iSANZ).
The award ceremony saw online scan simulators, malware free initiatives, specialist information security firms and seasoned and emerging cybersecurity professionals recognised for their contributions to keeping Aotearoa safe from threats.
Now in their eighth year, judged awards were presented in six categories. A Hall of Fame Award was also awarded, recognising one individual's enduring industry contribution.
Held annually, the iSANZ Awards recognise the outstanding people and organisations providing their expertise and insight in improving and benefiting New Zealand's digital security.
iSANZ Board Chair Kendra Ross says as a connected and thriving digital nation, New Zealand confronts an unrelenting number of cybersecurity threats and incidents.
These include expensive data breaches, disruptive ransomware attacks and costly phishing scams.
"The current threat landscape is incredibly diverse, with digital attack surfaces having increased as remote and hybrid work takes precedence," Ross says.
"Thankfully, we're lucky to have the very best in cybersecurity talent to protect and defend against those who would exploit and do us harm online.
"These awards are the preeminent national opportunity to reflect on the extremely high standard, variety and innovation of people and businesses who work tirelessly across New Zealand's information security sector to see off malicious digital threats."
The winners in the 2022 iSANZ Awards are:
Best Security Project or Awareness Initiative
Education Arcade for its NFT scam simulator.
Education Arcade's online, interactive simulator is designed for those at risk of falling victim to Non-Fungible Token scams, teaching people how to recognise and steer clear of deceptive or malicious NFTs.
The judges also noted how accessible, quirky, interesting and interactive the tool is, saying that returns to the learners will be immeasurable.
Best Security Product or Service
National Cyber Security Centre's (NCSC) Malware Free Networks initiative.
The NCSC launched its Malware Free Networks initiative in November 2021. It is currently helping to defend the country from a range of evolving cyber threats and has made the cybersecurity posture of many New Zealand organisations more robust.
The judges said the initiative's design and implementation have been very strong, as well as its ability to enhance security throughout Aotearoa while also protecting user privacy.
Best Security Team
Spark's Cyber Defence Tribe.
Spark's Cyber Defence Tribe has over 100 IT and cybersecurity experts protecting the company's vast network infrastructure.
The judges acknowledged the team's commitment to measuring Spark's program, as well as the company's strong focus on diversity, training and career development pathways.
Best Start-Up or New Business
MindShift's constant high-quality cybersecurity awareness and training received praise from the judges.
"The range of service providers who use their services to lift cybersecurity skills for all New Zealanders shows confidence in MindShift to understand their audience and make the right impact," they said.
Best Senior Security Practitioner
Nyuk Loong Kiw, Chapter Area Lead, Spark Cyber Defence Tribe.
The judges were impressed with Nyuk's passion for helping create a strong cybersecurity community which was evident in his commitment to mentoring others and going beyond his day job to speak at conferences.
In addition, the judges recognised his people leadership and successful delivery of good client outcomes, which marked him as someone who cares about the impact he makes in his role.
Up-and-coming Cybersecurity Star
Amina Aggarwal, Spark.
The judges commented on Aggarwal's demonstrated drive to succeed, passion for cyber, focus on self-development and making a real contribution to help others into and through the cybersecurity industry.
Hall of Fame Award (iSANZ Hall of Famer 2022)
Prow has been a strong and longtime supporter of Aotearoa's infosec community. He founded information security firms Aura and RedShield and lends some of his time to working on the NZITF Board.
Prow is also well-known as a cybersecurity thought leader with a global standing, working as a partner to a Silicon Valley VC investing in NZ tech startups. He is also a lead advisor for one of the UK's most significant cyber insurance brokers.
The 2022 iSANZ Awards are sponsored by Datacom, Quantum Security, Duo (a division of Sektor), Spark NZ, Kordia, SailPoint, Check Point, Palo Alto Networks/NEXTGEN Group, CyberCX, NCSC, NTT, Tesserent, Comstor and Cisco.