(ISC)2 names EMEA’s outstanding cybersecurity professionals

(ISC)² has announced the winners of its first-ever (ISC)² EMEA Information Security Leadership Awards (ISLA), which recognises the most outstanding cybersecurity professionals and their achievements over the last year. The awards offer the chance for the world’s largest association of cybersecurity professionals to commend their fellow colleagues for going the extra mile to enhance security across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Amidst a global shortage of cybersecurity professionals, which is estimated to reach 1.8 million by 2022, these individuals have stood out as making tremendous contributions to driving the profession forward.

  • Peter O’Boyle, HCISPP, Information Security Manager at ICON (Ireland) has won the Information Security Practitioner award for implementing formal cybersecurity processes at ICON, including supply chain risk assessments and navigating compliance with GDPR. He has successfully aligned cybersecurity to the business’ goals and objectives, and has ensured that cybersecurity is embedded into every part of the organisation.

  • Patrick Wheeler, Director at CyberWayFinder (Belgium) has won the Senior Information Security Professional award. Patrick has been recognised for his work in increasing diversity and promoting women in cybersecurity through education, community development and encouraging career transitions. Through hosting bespoke workshops, Skype sessions and mentoring, he has worked tirelessly to help women succeed in the industry. His work has directly seen three women transition into cybersecurity at a bank in Luxembourg.

  • Denise Murtagh-Dunne, CISSP, Information Security Manager at PwC (Ireland) has won the Woman Information Security Professional award. Denise has been commended for her tireless work to improve the information security community within PwC, hosting regular events, each of which have seen over 200 people attend. She has excelled in her work in engaging the community and destroying the barriers that have historically prevented people in getting involved in cybersecurity.

  • Brencil Kaimba, Security Consultant at Serianu Limited (Kenya) has won the Up-and-Coming Information Security Professional award. Over the past 12 months, Brencil has mentored university and high school students around Kenya, teaching them about cybersecurity, as well as educating campus students at Serianu Limited. At just 26 years old, she has motived many young people – particularly girls – to venture into the cybersecurity field.

The awards, which saw over 200 submissions, were judged by members of the (ISC)² Europe Middle East and Africa Advisory Council (EAC), who are all practicing professionals certified as members of (ISC)². The winners were announced at (ISC)2’s Secure Summit UK in London, on the 12th December.

The ceremony itself was presented by (ISC)² Chief Operating Officer, Wesley Simpson, who had flown in from (ISC)²’s Florida headquarters especially for the occasion; along with Chair of the EMEA ISLA Judging Committee, Tamer Gamali, who respectively made his way to the United Kingdom from Kuwait.

Wesley Simpson, (ISC)² Chief Operating Officer said:

“Around the world, our ISLA awards allow us to honour the outstanding accomplishments of our peers, and reveal what professionals in our field are doing to help us achieve our vision of inspiring a safe and secure cyber world.

At a time when we all are beginning to feel the impact of the shortage of skilled talent in our field, I don’t think we can underestimate the importance of recognising the significant contributions being made to our profession, with the talent that we currently have. The winners’ stories tell us a lot about what it means to be a cybersecurity professional that is committed to both supporting and advancing our field of practice.”

The (ISC)² EMEA Information Security Leadership Awards (ISLA) have been introduced, following the success of the awards programme in the Americas and Asia-Pacific regions over eleven years. The EMEA ISLA are the only EMEA-wide awards run by the professional cybersecurity community, offering a credible opportunity to provide notable exposure from the world’s largest nonprofit membership organisation in the field.

To view the full list of finalists, click here: http://www.cvent.com/events/-isc-secure-summit-uk/custom-128-3cb19e3b1c8c4154a6eb8ca43e052ca7.aspx?p=128

Winners’ quotes:

Peter O’Boyle, HCISPP, remarked:

“I’m delighted and honoured to be awarded one of the first EMEA Information Security Leadership Awards. The awards are a great initiative, offering the chance for professionals to recognise one another. I want to thank everybody who nominated me. It has really taken me by surprise how highly my colleagues and peers think of me.”

Patrick Wheeler said:

“This award is for all of the supporters, mentors, hiring managers and candidates in the diversity effort! I am very pleased to have won, especially on behalf of the women who entrust us with their careers in joining our three-year programme. I am also grateful to the industry, particularly SWIFT, who are one of our key partners who and are the most engaged; and are always pushing us to do more and expand our impact in the field.”

Denise Murtagh-Dunne, CISSP, stated:

“I never thought I would win, especially when considering the other finalists’ impressive credentials. To be up against such strong nominees, and to be on par with them is amazing. I am absolutely delighted to receive this award, as the nomination was made by my peers. It means a lot to me to know that the work I do is so highly regarded.”

Brencil Kaimba commented:

“I can’t believe that I am the one who has won! I didn’t expect it and it was an honour just to be nominated. I have come all the way from Kenya, but was excited to be part of the whole experience. To find out I have won too is just amazing!”