This award recognises and celebrates the individuals (or group) in either cybersecurity, business continuity planning (BCP) or physical security that are selflessly and continuously protecting the lives of others during the COVID-19 crisis. The award applauds those showing leadership, bravery, and commitment to helping people, and this country, during the coronavirus pandemic.

Faced with a dangerous and precarious situation, these inspirational individuals (or group) have galvanised to provide real leadership and change in the face of adversity. In the realm of physical security, these individuals could be on the frontline protecting human life at airports, hospitals and supermarkets. They could be behind the scenes battling cybercriminals looking to attack healthcare services, or they could be in the BCP arena creating a system of ongoing prevention and recovery from the ever-escalating crisis.

Security Champion

This award recognises the individual who effectively acts as the voice of security in any given product or team. It applauds the person who’s mastered the art of engaging people with the IT security message - and is more aware and better equipped to deal with the ever-evolving IT security threats. Tell us how your ‘security champion’ increases the effectiveness and efficiency of the security program - improves the security culture and posture of the organisation - while strengthening relationships between teams.

Male Champion of Change

Male champions of change are individuals working to shift entrenched gender inequalities and championing for more equality in the IT security industry. They demonstrate a genuine commitment in time, investment and innovation.

Unsung Hero in IT Security

Unsung heroes give back to the cybersecurity community and demonstrate excellence in all pursuits and endeavours. It could be through mentoring women in the security industry by tirelessly supporting, encouraging and promoting their professional and personal development. Or they go above and beyond the call of duty to protect their organisations from cyber threats by either initiating a cyber risk awareness campaign or being a superstar advocate for the security industry.

Best Place for Women to Work in Security

This award recognises the workplace that has adopted practices that create and foster an environment that supports, validates and encourages women to achieve their full potential. Many organisations in the security industry are actively promoting and recruiting women because they recognise the correlation between diversity and business success. You will need to discuss how different programs and support mechanisms are nurturing and promoting women across the talent pipeline; whether the organisation has low attrition rates for women and is continually promoting and retaining women; or how initiatives like flexible working, return-to-work programs, and leadership development or professional training are fostering a culture of recognition and equality.

'One to Watch'

This award recognises the exceptional talents of an individual who’s journey in IT security has shown consistent dedication and commitment to excellence. It could be a master problem solver, a technological wizard with superior communication and security skills, or a powerhouse security specialist that’s slated for continual distinction. We’re on the hunt for an individual with a unique and personalised approach, and who will act as a role model for others.

Best Female Secure Coder

This award recognises a superhero coder who’s mastered the art of developing computer software or programs that guard against security vulnerabilities. She might be a superstar team player or natural leader, or fine-tuned the art of DevSecOps and is passionate about the secure-development methodology and many others. In your nomination, tell us about the project or projects that delivered tangible outcomes and quality improvements, and how you did it.

Best Higher Education Program for Young Ladies in Security

More and more women are leading the charge for technological innovation in the security industry. But to develop and nurture self-assured and capable female leaders requires hard work and dedication through the ongoing efforts of education. It requires engagement - and very early on - to help ignite the passion for the security industry and to help overcome fears and challenges - all while painting a realistic picture about life as a woman in the security industry. This award recognises an individual who has effectively used the power of learning - either through teaching, lecturing or training activities - to educate businesses and the public about cybersecurity threats. This could involve giving presentations to staff or the public; delivering lessons or lectures to students; or by sharing cybersecurity tips and best practices to build a better cybersecurity climate.

Best Student Security Leader

Enlightening and empowering tomorrow’s great security leaders requires constant guidance and hard work - and it has to start today. This award recognises an exceptional student who’s already making a difference to the security industry - a young gun superstar in the trenches - with sleeves rolled up - and contributing to the field by demonstrating the qualities of a great security leader. In your nomination, reveal how the student first got involved with the industry - how they continue to be engaged with it - and how their contributions have successfully paved the way to a future career in security.

Most Outstanding Woman in Security Australia

This award recognises female innovators leading the way in IT security - talented women at the forefront of the industry demonstrating a vast array of inspirational work. The winner will demonstrate a combination of factors which may include: whiz bang technical skills; extensive influence on delivering impactful products or services; real leadership and ambition in ideas; an insatiable commitment to giving back to the community; and a passion to combat issues in the current cyber landscape. The award winner is helping turn the corner on innovation, alter and change policies and influence boardroom decisions. Through a series of outstanding achievements, the winner is reshaping the security industry and leaving an indelible mark.

IT Security Barrier Breaker

This award recognises the best IT security breakthrough in Australia. The winner will demonstrate how their product or service has excelled all expectations and has enhanced the IT security landscape across the country. It applauds the ingenuity and innovative technology making a real difference to society, pushing the limits and ultimately reshaping the IT security environment.

People's Choice for 'All Stars' in IT Security

This ‘people’s choice’ award recognises the individual that demonstrates excellence, innovation and leadership in information security. Based on the popular vote by members of the IT security community, the ‘all stars’ individual will possess outstanding technical skills, deliver impactful solutions or services, and continue to inspire future generations into work in the security field.

AWSN Award of 2020

This award recognises and honours the accomplishments and contributions - of either an individual or a company - within the overall IT security industry that’s making a real difference and reshaping the security landscape. On the company front, this IT security trailblazer will demonstrate excellence and innovation in either product or services, helping customers meet core objectives, boost brand reputation, and customer experience. On the individual front, this security trailblazer will demonstrate real leadership, passion and ambition in ideas, showcase innovative projects or initiatives, and inspire future generations into work in the security field. The nomination should include background about the person or company, the successful achievements, and what makes them a cut above the rest.

Best Volunteer or Not-for-Profit Organisation

This award recognises the volunteer or not-for-profit organisation that’s advancing the cybersecurity and safety of the Australian public as well as businesses and governments in Australia. They are going ‘above and beyond’ to raise awareness of the risks and dangers of cyberattack and data theft in the Australian community. The individual or entity might be educating public or private sector agencies - and the general public - on how to improve the IT security posture and reduce risks resulting from inadequate technical security controls. Or they could be providing public education on internet security; promoting the use of best practices for providing security assurance within cloud computing, for example; or enhancing the security readiness and response of public and private sector entities.

Best Security Certification Provider

This award recognises the security certification provider that’s not only helping IT professionals successfully boost skill sets and employability, but also helping organisations get their staff successfully accredited. Modern organisations are facing more security threats than ever before - and certified IT security professionals are in high demand. Having respected security certs helps an IT professional stand out from the crowd - and become a more valuable member of the IT security community. The award applauds the certification provider that’s tailoring specialised and popular programs that ‘hit the mark’ in terms of skill sets, prestigious credentials, while also offering greater insights into IT security and new perspectives. From enterprise-risk level management training to best practises in IT security to ethical hacking, the winning security certification provider is delivering programs with ingenuity and instinctive aptitude.

NEW Award Categories in Protective Security and/or Resilience

Most Promising Newcomer in Protective Security/Resilience

This award recognises the ‘rising star’ of the Protective security/resilience industry that’s already making a significant contribution to the protective security/resilience landscape. It applauds the individual’s proven excellence and innovation in the protective security/resilience arena, highlighting their unique capabilities and contributions as they continue to grow in stature and gain more and more recognition. 

Best Champion of Women in in Protective Security/Resilience

This award recognises the ‘change champion’ that’s working diligently across the protective security and/or resilience industry to support and empower women, either through mentorship or through collaborative work efforts and impactful leadership. This award applauds the individual who’s made an outstanding contribution to improving the status and lives of women in the security industry.

Best Mentor in Protective Security/Resilience

This award recognises the individual that’s ‘giving back’ to the protective security/resilience industry. They’re either active in the community, promoting security safety through school, university, government and industry engagement, or through thought leadership and powerful communication. It applauds the individual championing education and empowerment, either acting as a role model to women or to the wider community. The award applauds the individual that ‘shines’ in helping others overcome challenges (either a colleague or the wider community), supports and encourages career development, and inspires others to work in the field.

Most Outstanding Career Contributor in any area of Protective Security/Resilience

This award recognises the individual with an outstanding work record and long history of innovation in the field of protective security/resilience. The award applauds the individual who has excelled at uncovering and addressing threats and vulnerabilities. It recognises the individual that has made significant contributions across long and productive careers and continues to drive the industry forward in either technological advancements, thought leadership or innovative products or services.

Australia's Most Outstanding Woman in Protective Security/Resilience

This award recognises the ‘all-star’ individual that’s demonstrating excellence, innovation and leadership in protective security and/or resilience. The individual recognises the range of threats that businesses and governments face continues to evolve - and, therefore, works collaboratively at all levels of the organisation or department to instill a culture of security. The strong female leader will possess a range of skills, be delivering successful products or services, and shows a continual commitment to excellence and professional growth in all business activities.

People's Choice for 'All Stars' in Protective Security/Resilience

This award showcases the everyday heroes - the ‘all stars’ of the protective security and/or resilience arena - that demonstrate a proven record of excellence, innovation and leadership. Based on the popular vote by members of the security community, the ‘all stars’ individual will possess outstanding technical skills, deliver impactful solutions or services, and continue to inspire future generations into work in the protective security/resilience arena.