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iSANZ Awards

New Zealand's annual showcase of excellence in Information Security.

Congratulations to all our 2021 finalists and winners. Stay tuned for details of the 2022 Awards.


Our mission

To formally recognise the achievements of outstanding New Zealand InfoSec professionals, companies and initiatives / events.

Our Goal

To inspire, promote and reflect on the New Zealand InfoSec industry and its people.

The Kārearea

The iSANZ emblem, representing New Zealand's native falcon - one of the bravest, most ferocious of the falcon species against intruders to the nest.


Check back here soon for 2022 iSANZ Awards details, including ticketing.

Our Judges

A special thanks to our 2021 iSANZ Awards judging lineup

Lisa Fong, GCSB Director Information Assurance and Cyber Security

Peter Gutmann, Auckland University Computer Scientist

Russell Craig, Microsoft New Zealand National Technology Officer

Catherine Soper, Genesis Energy Group Manager Government & Regulatory Affairs

Sam Sergeant, InternetNZ Chief Security Officer

Katrine Evans, Ministry of Social Development Information Sharing & Privacy Manager

Kate Pearce, Trade Me Head of Security

Chris Hails, Heartland Bank Head of Information Security

Phillipe Langlois, P1 Security Founder & CEO

Jacob Torrey, Redshield Technical Advisory Board Member

Jon Duffy, Consumer NZ Chief Executive

Adrian van Hest, Cybersecurity Expert





The winners in the 2021 iSANZ Awards have now been announced:

Best Security Project or Security Awareness Initiative

Sponsored by Quantum Security, this category is open to organisations who have successfully implemented an InfoSec security project or awareness initiative.

Finalists were 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.

The winner was GCSB.

Best Security Professional CISO /Security Manager / Leader

Sponsored by Duo a division of Sektor, this category is open to senior security leaders holding full or part time positions as CISO, Security Manager, or similar security leadership position.

Finalists were Josh Bahlman, CISO Spark; Hilary Walton, CISO Kordia; Richard Harrison, CISO HealthAlliance.

The winner was Josh Bahlman.

Best Start-Up or New Business

Sponsored by Spark NZ, this category is open to new information security / cyber security businesses founded in New Zealand and which have been operating for no more than five years.

Finalists were Datamasque, MindShift, Onwardly.

The winner was Onwardly.

Best Security Company of the Year

Sponsored by Check Point, this category is open to security companies with superior security products or solutions that help customers tackle today's most pressing InfoSec challenges.

Finalists were ZX Security, SafeStack Academy, Mindshift.

The winner was SafeStack Academy.

Best New Zealand Security Service or Product

Sponsored by NEXTGEN Group, this category is open to New Zealand companies who have an "in service" Security Service or Product.

Finalists were 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.

The winner was Darkscope.

Up-and-coming Cyber Security Star

Sponsored by CyberCX, this category is open to all individuals who are a newcomer to the world of Cyber/ InfoSec in NZ with less than 3 years experience and who have made a positive and impressive impact to our community.

Finalists were Anna Thomson, Casey Cooper, Ankita Dhakar.

The winner was Casey Cooper.

Hall of Fame

This nominated Award is open to a person, event or company who has made a significant contribution (above and beyond the normal standards and qualities / legacy outcomes) to the wider InfoSec community.



The 2021 inductee was iSIG.

No 2020 inductee due to COVID-19.

The 2019 Hall of Fame inductee was Dr Ian Graham.

The 2018 Hall of Fame inductee was the New Zealand Internet Task Force (NZITF).

The 2017 Hall of Fame inductee was Dr Peter Gutmann.

The 2016 Hall of Fame inductee was NetSafe.

The 2015 Hall of Fame inductee was the 1st Tuesday Forum.

iSANZ News

Stay up-to-date with iSANZ news here, or on LinkedIn and Twitter

iSANZ Awards News

Winners announced in New Zealand’s seventh annual Information Security Awards

Media release - 17 March 2022

The COVID-delayed 2021 iSANZ Awards were held this evening at a live online ceremony, where judged awards were handed out in six categories. A special Hall of Fame Award was also presented – recognising one organisation’s outstanding contribution to New Zealand’s information security industry.

The annual iSANZ awards acknowledge those who are contributing to information security - helping keep New Zealand's digital networks safe from malicious computer activity.

iSANZ Board Chair Kendra Ross says the awards are an important opportunity to inspire, promote and reflect on the hard work that goes on behind the scenes in our world-class information security industry.

“As the digital world spreads its roots ever deeper, the risk and impact of cyber attacks increases. This only reinforces the importance of our talented and hardworking community of cybersecurity professionals who protect our connectivity as we enjoy our daily lives.

“We’ve again been highly impressed by the accomplishments of all our iSANZ entrants, finalists and winners - especially during the past two years with the coronavirus pandemic creating new challenges for cyber security businesses as they've helped New Zealanders adapt to an operating model in which working from home has became the new normal.”

The winners in the 2021 iSANZ Awards are:

Best Security Project or Security Awareness Initiative

GCSB for development of its baseline security templates.

The judges commented that GCSB's baseline templates help with the hardest part of security - translating the 'what' into the 'how'. The "high leverage project" provides a solution for continuous assurance with government security requirements and benefits of all New Zealand's cybersecurity.

Best Security Leader

Josh Bahlman from Spark.

The judges commented on Josh’s personable approach and commitment to increasing awareness of cyber security - saying that in a field of truly impressive candidates, he has demonstrated an ability to take quick, decisive action in the wake of major cyber security events.

Best Start-Up or New Business


The judges commended Onwardly for taking on a part of the market where upskilling is a barrier to cybersecurity hygiene. The company is helping small to medium business owners better contend with the reality of digital dependency - letting them understand their security posture in a straightforward, non-technical way.

Best Security Company of the Year

SafeStack Academy.

The judges commented on SafeStack's innovative approach to solving the problem of lack of resource in the security industry, and its approach of "baking in" security at an early stage in the design and development process to make products more secure.

Best NZ Security Product or Service

Darkscope for its CIQ360 cyber risk insurance rating service.

The judges were impressed with Darkscope’s innovative cybersecurity tools - commenting that these help to assess risk, based on evidence not assumptions.

Up-and-Coming Cyber Security Star

Casey Cooper from BNZ.

The judges commented on Casey's compelling achievements since joining the industry, especially the impact he has made in securing BNZ, his work on Zero Day cybersecurity vulnerabilities and the recognition he has gained from management, colleagues and customers.

Hall of Fame Award

The Information Security Interest Group (ISIG) was inducted as the 2021 iSANZ Hall of Famer.

Established in 2003, ISIG is a professional interest group for people working in information security. It has membership chapters in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Hamilton. iSIG has been ground zero for the development of a number of well known Kiwis who have gone on to accomplish amazing cybersecurity results both in Aotearoa and internationally.

The 2021 iSANZ Awards were proudly sponsored by Datacom, Quantum Security, Spark NZ, Kordia, SailPoint, Check Point, NEXTGEN Group and CyberCX. Supporting partners are NZITF, SiteHost and 1st Tuesday.

The Kārearea

Our emblem is the karearea or New Zealand falcon - a symbol for courage, victory and rising above a situation.

The New Zealand Falcon

The Falcon's adaptations include short, deep rounded wings, a long tail to maximise manoeuvrability and long legs and feet that enable it to catch small birds during surprise attacks. Its soft plumage is adapted to the forest environment, making the feathers more flexible and resistant to breaking in the rough and tumble that it often encounters when pursuing prey into thick cover.

A true New Zealand warrior you might say. Early scientists used to call it Falco ferox or ferocious falcon. These attributes make our ‘Karearea’ New Zealand falcon truly special – a unique species that has adapted to fulfil the roles that several species usually fill overseas.

Falcon Meanings and Symbolism

The Falcon is a solar emblem for success, victory and rising above a situation in Native American Indian mythology. The Falcon created a powerful, intimidating figure and was associated with warfare. In European tradition, the Falcon represents the huntsman and is associated with the Germanic sky-gIn European culture the Falcon is considered a warlike symbol.

iSANZ Sponsors

The 2021 iSANZ Awards were proudly sponsored by Datacom, Quantum Security, Duo a division of Sektor, Spark NZ, Kordia, SailPoint, Check Point, NEXTGEN Group and CyberCX. Interested in sponsoring? Email us at [email protected]

iSANZ Gold

iSANZ Gold Dinner Sponsor: Datacom.


Our Supporting Partners

The 2021 iSANZ Awards were supported by NZITF, SiteHost and 1st Tuesday.


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