Security Serious Unsung Heroes Awards reveals 2021 winners

The sixth annual Security Serious Unsung Heroes Awards winners were revealed last night in a fun and exciting celebration at St Bart’s Brewery in London. The annual awards celebrate the people, not products, of the cyber security industry. From the best ethical hackers, rising stars and educators to the best security awareness campaign, security team and the coveted Godparent of security, the categories recognised individuals and teams working hard to protect Britain from cybercrime and raise awareness of security issues.     

The free event was the first chance for the UK security industry to come together physically post-pandemic, catch up with familiar faces and meet new ones while enjoying a short awards ceremony compered by Bennett Arron, award-winning screenwriter, author, comedian, actor and worldwide speaker on fraud and identity theft, who added a sense of humour to the event. The winners were branded with titles like Cyber Writer, Data Guardian and Security Leader/Mentor and were awarded substantial trophies they can display proudly at home or at work.     

“Cybersecurity and the people within this industry are often not given the recognition and appreciation they deserve,” said lead organiser of Security Serious Week and co-founder of Eskenzi PR, Yvonne Eskenzi. “By hosting this event, we are shining a light on all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes to protect organisations from the threat of cybercrime. Thanks to our fantastic sponsors, we were able to host an amazing party at no charge to our attendees and acknowledge all the incredible and talented people in this industry!” 

Winner of the Godfather of Security prize, Colonel John Doody, said: “I am emotionally overwhelmed and humbled to be selected for this prestigious award. I am in my 63rd year in the profession including my total commitment to the national cybersecurity posture and will continue to serve the nation as long as I am able. Cybersecurity is the biggest growth profession in the UK and I am so privileged to be recognised for my dedicated evangelism on the subject.”

The Unsung Heroes Awards, started by Eskenzi PR, Smile on Fridays and the IT Security Guru, are supported by sponsors KnowBe4, Protiviti, Intaso and Procordr, who all made it possible to hold this totally free event. The judges were Brian Higgins from Comparitech, Oliver Pickup, award-winning writer, Eleanor Dallaway, editor at Infosecurity Magazine and Yvonne Eskenzi, director at Eskenzi PR.

The full list of winners are:     

Cyber Writer 

 Andy Gill

Best Security Awareness Campaign 

Talion RansomAware

Data Guardian

Emily Overton

Best Educator 

Winner: Jackie Riley

Highly Commended: Lorna Armitage and Andrea Cullen, CAPSLOCK

Godfather/Godmother of Security 

Colonel John Doody

Best Ethical Hacker / Pentester 

Dale Pavey and Guy Morley from NCC Group

Apprentice/Rising Star

Winner: Jenny Codes

Highly Commended: Daniel Dodds

Security Leader/Mentor

Marilise de Villiers

Security Avengers 

Winner: CyberNews Research Team

Highly Commended:  Sainsbury’s

CISO Supremo 

Alison Dyer

For more information, to speak to any of the winners or to register your interest for next year, please contact: [email protected] 


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