2024 Cyber OSPAs Winners’ Summaries

Outstanding Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) – Sponsored by SASIG
Stuart Seymour – Virgin Media O2

Stuart leads a function of over 160 physical, cyber security and GRC professionals. He has led VMO2 through a complete transformation re-organising the function to deliver 17 new capabilities, while reducing operational expenses by around £1M.  Focused on business enablement and resilience, Stuart has increased critical system protection and coverage by over 5,000%. He has driven up reporting by 20% and cut 2 days a month process waste through automation. Stuart’s team now all have active personal development plans, monthly skip levels, monthly reward and recognition, none of which existed before. In addition, he has led on neurodiversity initiatives and awareness at VMO2.

Outstanding Cyber Security Professional
Dr. Ilia Kolochenko – ImmuniWeb

Dr. Ilia Kolochenko, a Swiss cybersecurity expert and entrepreneur, began his career as a penetration tester and has over 15 years of experience in information security auditing and digital forensics. After serving in the Swiss artillery troops in 2007, Ilia founded his first pen testing and cybersecurity consulting firm, High-Tech Bridge. Ilia’s innovation led to the creation of the ImmuniWeb Platform, which seamlessly integrates human intelligence with the power of machine learning. Currently, as the Chief Architect at ImmuniWeb, Dr. Kolochenko oversees a team of data scientists, security analysts, and software engineers, driving innovation and excellence in application security.

Outstanding Cyber Security Team
Global User Awareness – Allianz Group

Allianz’s approach focuses on the “human firewall,” emphasising the critical role of well-trained employees in safeguarding against cyber threats. They created a robust governance framework from scratch, enabling global teams to implement effective cybersecurity practices. The team develops interactive learning formats that address both universal and company-specific cyber threats, emphasising practical security solutions and proactive measures. Users worldwide can be trained to protect the company as the first and last line of defence.

Outstanding Cyber Security Consultant

DigitalXRAID is a full-service cybersecurity consultancy organisation that delivers cutting-edge services to both enterprise and SME businesses. Their business is driven and motivated by ensuring that cybercriminals do not win. DigitalXRAID’s overall objective is to provide a comprehensive cybersecurity shield, covering all 3 pillars of cyber security with Offensive, Defensive, and Compliance services. Their ability to offer this wide range of services allows them to address the complete cybersecurity spectrum, ensuring that every aspect of thesecurity needs of their clients is met with both expertise and precision.

Outstanding Customer Service Initiative
POSSE App – Cyber Guardian

POSSE, the Personal Online Safety Security Evaluation App, is a pioneering initiative that empowers every individual to be safer online by developing habits to reduce the risk to them personally, wherever and for whatever reason they connect. POSSE has driven positive change in users, helping them to avoid scams. The app has increased cyber risk awareness for its users in relation to how they engage with the Internet. The habits developed from the guidance and awareness achieved from using the app are longstanding and clearly make users feel more confident in their online interactions and the connected world.

Outstanding Cyber Security Training/Awareness Initiative

CultureAI is an innovative Human Risk Management Platform which is changing the way security teams identify and mitigate their human cyber risks. It uses real-time data to identify security risks, educate employees, and nudge employees to make immediate fixes.  Seamlessly integrating with the modern tech stack, CultureAI continuously monitors apps and behaviours to uncover and mitigate risks as they happen. Such automation streamlines risk response and minimises time spent on routine triaging and report generation.

Outstanding Cyber Security Partnership
Pervade and NPCC – Police CyberAlarm

The Police CyberAlarm scheme’s success hinges on a robust partnership between Pervade Software, the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), and cyber police officers across the UK. This unique collaboration bridges private industry and the public sector, uniting hundreds of users daily through a single monitoring tool. The program was rolled out to all police forces in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, with Scotland soon to follow. The system promptly notifies members of live attacks, identifies dangerous equipment misconfigurations that expose organisations, and ensures critical vulnerabilities are flagged, along with actionable advice for resolution.

Outstanding Police/Law Enforcement Initiative
Cyber Career Week – Police Scotland Cybercrime Harm Prevention Team

The Police Scotland Cybercrime Harm Prevention team is a small national unit, which works with key partners in the public, private and third sectors, to deliver cybercrime prevention, mitigation and resilience advice to individuals, communities and businesses. The team works closely with the Scottish Government, the National Cyber Security Centre, and partners in law enforcement across the UK as integral members of the National Cyber Prevent, Prepare and Protect Networks. They share best practice, develop an understanding of emerging cyber and digital crime threats and trends, all whilst providing the most up-to-date information to reduce the potential or impact of a cyber-attack.

Outstanding Young Cyber Security Professional
Milind Purswani – Amazon Inc

Milind Purswani, a proactive security engineer at Amazon, plays a pivotal role in safeguarding the company’s vast array of customer services. His responsibilities include devising solutions to prioritise risks and high-impact services. Milind’s passion for security ignited early andhe earned his Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification at just 19-years old. Milind’s commitment extends beyond personal achievements; he actively mentors newcomers in the field and his recent creation, the ChatGPT Security Code Analyzer, leverages AI to identify code vulnerabilities within Visual Studio Code.

Outstanding New Cyber Security Product – Sponsored by International Cyber Expo & National Cyber Security Show
Sophos Intercept X

Sophos Intercept X is a sophisticated endpoint security solution offering multiple layers of security to protect against advanced attacks. Intercept X stops a range of threats, and its deep learning capabilities make it smarter, more scalable, more innovative and higher performing than other solutions. Intercept X enables users to run cross-product threat hunts and investigations, and drill into specific details of past and present attacker activity. Intercept X is easily managed in the cloud-native Sophos Central platform, where users can oversee installations, respond to alerts, and track licences and upcoming renewal dates.

Lifetime Achievement 
Pat Ryan, CBE
Pat Ryan, CBE, carved out an illustrious career in Royal Naval Intelligence, actively participating in several high-profile events. During her Naval Intelligence tenure, Pat was involved in notable incidents like the Profumo Affair, Cuban Missile Crisis, and Kennedy’s assassination. Now in her eighties, she remains bound by the Official Secrets Act. Transitioning from the Navy, Pat entered the world of IT and business consultancy at PwC. She spearheaded major IT improvement programs across Europe.  In her retirement, she dedicated herself to two significant projects: outfitting every children’s ward in the country with personal computers and inspiring girls to pursue cyber careers.  Pat founded Cyber Girls First (CGF) in 2015. initially self-funded, CGF later secured sponsorships from various companies.  Pat’s lifetime work has been recognised in high places, including the Challenge Cyber Award in 2018, the 2020 Godmother of Cyber, by the Unsung Heros Award, and she was awarded the CBE in the recent King’s Honours.