The 2023 iSANZ Awards, a highly anticipated event esteemed as the most premier affair acknowledging extraordinary endeavours in the field of cybersecurity and information security in Aotearoa New Zealand, took place in the capital city of Wellington. The 9th annual ceremony commended those people, teams, and organisations that have shown exceptional innovation, leadership and finesse in protecting individuals and networks against harmful cyber activities.
A notable feature of the awards ceremony was the Hall of Fame Award, an honour held in high regard to acknowledge an individual who has shown commendable, long-term dedication to the industry of information security. Chair of the iSANZ Board, Kendra Ross, highlighted the importance of the awards not only in commemorating the tremendous achievements made by winners, but also in shining a light onto the impressive feats of the entire infosec and cybersecurity sector in New Zealand.
"We continue to be impressed by the achievements of all the entrants, finalists, and winners, who represent some of the most skilled and dedicated professionals in the information security field," said Ross.
The Senior Cyber Security Professional of the Year was awarded to Philip Whitmore, a Partner in Cybersecurity at KPMG. The judges commended Whitmore's invaluable contributions to New Zealand's cyber security community through his successful consultancy practices and his dedication to nurturing future professionals in the field. Whitmore's work in community outreach and thought leadership significantly enhanced the local cyber security landscape, benefiting both businesses and practitioners.
The award for Security Team of the Year was bestowed upon the BNZ Cyber Governance Team. The judges praised the team's improvement of their security program, emphasising people, processes, and technology. They also lauded the team's dedication to research, technology projects, and a metrics-driven approach to diversity.
The Project/Awareness Initiative of the Year went to the Ministry of Education for its robust endeavour to consolidate security efforts across the sector, bringing together a variety of activities for a clear oversight of threats and vulnerabilities. The judges admired the efforts to protect thousands of staff, students, educational systems, and data from digital hazards in a planned and coordinated manner.
BNZ Pixie Mob was recognised as the NZ Secure Development Team of the Year. The judges were impressed with BNZ's technical DevSecOps pipeline and their emphasis on developer onboarding, proving their role as security advocates. The judges also noted that BNZ extended positive influence beyond the organisation through automated security enhancements.
In addition, the Start-up or New Business of the Year award was won by Outfox, a new business catering to the small to medium business sector. The judges were especially impressed with Outfox's steadfast commitment to workforce diversity—including both gender and neurodiversity.
Megan Young, from Spark, was recognised as the Up and Coming Cyber Security Star of the Year. The judges lauded Young's accomplishments in several domains over a period of three years at Spark, and her endeavour to foster a positive team environment.
Finally, this year's Hall of Fame Award was presented to Tony Krzyzewski, a distinguished veteran in the information security industry. With a career spanning over four decades, Krzyzewski has made significant contributions to the information security landscape in areas such as operations, network design, and technology innovation. His international contributions, as the Global Cyber Alliance Ambassador and New Zealand's Convenor for the International Standards Organisation SC27 Committee, have been of exceptional note.