Eighteen finalists named last night for New Zealand's seventh annual Information Security Association awards will have to wait until February to celebrate.
The culprit, of course, is COVID-19, which forced the cancellation of last year's ISANZ awards among many other industry events.
Originally set down for this month, a gala awards dinner at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, in Wellington, is now rescheduled for February.
Specialist cyber security businesses, a big bank and experts from across the public and private sectors have been named among finalists.
ISANZ chair Kendra Ross said a record number of entries, 57 in all, were received this year, including in a new category: IT security leader of the year. The finalists are:
Best security project or security awareness initiative
Education Arcade for its interactive, story-driven cyber security games and content; BNZ for its sustained cyber security awareness campaign targeting staff, customers and partners; GCSB for development of its baseline security templates.
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.
Best security company of the year
ZX Security, SafeStack Academy, MindShift.
Best startup or new business
Datamasque, MindShift, Onwardly.
Best security professional CISO, security manager, leader
Josh Bahlman, CISO Spark; Hilary Walton, CISO Kordia; Richard Harrison, CISO HealthAlliance.
Up-and-coming cybersecurity star
Anna Thomson, Casey Cooper, Ankita Dhakar.
“The breadth and depth of the work being done by our 2021 entrants was incredible and our judges found their job challenging," said Ross. "The quality of entrants this year is proof that our cyber security ecosystem is in fine shape.”
Ross said good information security practice is now more important than ever.
“The contributions of New Zealand individuals and organisations in helping secure individuals and organisations against escalating cyber threats is immeasurable. Feedback from our local and international judges is that it’s clear this country possesses InfoSec capability the equal of anywhere in the world.”
February’s gala will also see a person, event or organisation crowned in a "hall of fame" category.