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iSANZ security awards finalists announced and virtual event confirmed

By Mitchell Hageman
Wed 23 Feb 2022

The finalists for the iSANZ security awards have been revealed, and a virtual ceremony has been scheduled for 17 March.

The awards are set to formally recognise the achievements of outstanding New Zealand InfoSec professionals, companies and initiatives/events. The ceremony will be a 45 to 60-minute live awards show with some pre-recorded parts.

On a LinkedIn post, Board member Kendra Ross remarked, "We want to do the event justice and make it the best that a 'virtual' experience can possibly be."

"Just as we would advise people in the cybersecurity industry to engage with an expert, we've followed our own advice and appointed a producer, a production company and booked the use of a beautiful studio."

iSanz says that its overall goal is to inspire, promote and reflect on the New Zealand InfoSec industry and its people.

The awards will be freely available for all to watch and participate in. 

The finalists for each category are as follows:

Best security project or security awareness initiative:

  • Education Arcade for its interactive, story-driven cyber security games and content
  • BNZ for its sustained cybersecurity awareness campaign targeting staff, customers and partners
  • GCSB for development of its baseline security templates

Best security professional ciso/security manager/leader:

  • Josh Bahlman, CISO Spark
  • Hilary Walton, CISO Kordia
  • Richard Harrison, CISO HealthAlliance

Best start-up or new business:

  • Datamasque
  • MindShift
  • Onwardly

Best security company of the year:

  • ZX Security
  • SafeStack Academy
  • Mindshift

Best New Zealand security service or product:

  • DarkScope for its CIQ360 cyber risk insurance rating service
  • SafeStack Academy for its online cyber security and privacy awareness education platform
  • SafeToOpen for its anti-phishing verification tool

Up-and-coming cyber security star:

  • Anna Thomson
  • Casey Cooper
  • Ankita Dhakar

Nominations are also still open for the Hall of Fame awards for 2021, which is open to a person, event or company who has made a significant contribution (above and beyond the normal standards and qualities/legacy outcomes) to the wider InfoSec community.

Previous Hall of Fame inductees include:

2019: Dr Ian Graham

2018: The New Zealand Internet Task Force (NZITF)

2017: Dr Peter Gutmann

2016: NetSafe

2015: 1st Tuesday Forum

All people who purchased tickets to the cancelled live event will be contacted and refunded, with more information about the replacement virtual event to be disclosed in the coming weeks.

Looking forward to later in 2022, the iSANZ Awards live event has now also been confirmed for 1 November 2022 at Te Papa Museum, with a keynote speech set to be delivered by gold medal-winning paralympian Liam Malone.

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