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SC Awards Europe: What star qualities are the judges looking for?

SC Awards Europe: What star qualities are the judges looking for?

Our awards are back for 2022 to commend the pandemic's most innovative cyber stars – live and in-person...

For decades, SC Awards Europe has sought out and celebrated the very best talent in the cyber industry. And now, more than ever, our team of judges has a vitally important job to do.

As organisations, including many SMEs for the first time, revisit cyber resilience in the wake of rampant crime, trust is critical when choosing a partner to navigate today’s security journey.

The SC Awards, the longest standing in Europe, exist to celebrate and uphold the most industry's credible and innovative players.

While the pandemic threw up previously unimaginable circumstances and challenges, the infosec world responded with ingenuity, verve, and commitment. 

New year, new judges

Assessed by a fresh and prestigious panel of judges, SC Europe Awards 2022 will commend strong stewardship in a time of transformation.

The line up of 30 awards includes four new categories: 

  • Women of Influence 
  • Cyber Newcomer of The Year
  • Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Editor’s Choice

You can nominate your company here up until Thursday 10 March 2022. The winners will be unveiled at the London ceremony on Wednesday 21 June 2022.

What are our judges looking for?

This year’s head judge is the eminent Richard Starnes, chief cybersecurity strategist for Capgemini, where he is responsible for thought leadership and operational cybersecurity for several multi-million pound clients.

A leading international voice, Starnes has over twenty years of experience implementing infosec programmes in the US and UK.

Nobody turns down bragging rights

Starnes said:  “I’m looking for qualities that I can't train into people  It’s impossible to teach desire and interest. I’m looking for hungry cyber innovators.

“The SC Awards are critical for giving industry players a credible benchmark to strive for – and exceed. And, of course, nobody ever turned down bragging rights.”

The head judge said he is keeping his eye out for innovative remote working solutions, as well as superior incident response, identity management, vulnerability management and IoT security technology.

New blood

Starnes said the new SC Europe Women of Influence award is a "critical accolade" for recognising and rewarding talent in the cyber world.

“We're starting to see a lot more emphasis on the expansion of cybersecurity demographics compared to a number of years ago. It’s important that we continue to promote the cross-demographic spectrum,” he added.

“Both the Women of Influence and the Cyber Newcomer of the Year awards are vital for addressing the national skill shortage and bringing new blood into the industry.”

Role models

Fellow SC Europe Awards judge Andrea Garcia Beltran, UK and international head of cyber (underwriting), RSA Insurance, said the Women of Influence award is essential for highlighting the growing numbers of females entering the profession.

“This award will help encourage more women, especially students, into cybersecurity as a profession and create visible role models,” she said.

Beltran is looking to commend vendors that are innovative with excellent service levels.

“I’m looking for companies that go above and beyond; those firms that live and breathe cybersecurity and look at their customers’ needs across the whole spectrum."

Fast-moving sector

SC Awards Europe judge Saj Huq, chief commercial officer at cyber innovation hub Plexal (pictured above), said the awards are “a moment to recognise excellence… especially in cybersecurity, which is a fast-moving profession."

Huq said such awards afford SMES in particular the opportunity to gain legitimacy, recognition and credibility in a congested market.

“Trusted brands in cyber are really important and long standing awards like SC Europe are seen as the gold standard for credibility.”

The Plexal COO said he is looking out for companies that are “genuinely novel” and “addressing an existing challenge in a new way”.

To enter your nomination for this year's SC Awards Europe, click here. Don't forget, entries close on 10 March.