EC-Council Announces CISO Award Winners at Black Tie Gala

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The finalists for five award categories in the CISO Awards program attended a black-tie gala in their honor in Atlanta, GA on October 8 ahead of the Hacker Halted and Global CISO Forum conferences.

Favour Femi-Oyewole receiving the CCISO of the Year award from EC-Council President, Jay Bavisi

The CCISO of the Year winner is Favour Femi-Oyewole, CISO of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, a self-driven, motivated, problem-solving CISO with a positive, can-do attitude.

EC-Council’s CISO Awards recognize leaders making an impact by implementing security programs and security awareness programs that break the mold and address the root problems of modern breaches.

In a black-tie ceremony, EC-Council honored leaders in information security by recognizing finalists and winners in seven categories. The CISO Awards precedes both Hacker Halted, EC-Council’s largest annual cybersecurity conference, and the Global CISO Forum, EC-Council’s premier executive-level event. EC-Council’s CISO Awards recognize leaders making an impact by implementing security programs and security awareness programs that break the mold and address the root problems of modern breaches. These awards are decided by a committee in an anonymous voting process.

The first award given was the Presidential Award for Excellence to Nitin Kumar, the Senior Managing Director of Technology, Media & Telecom for FTI Consulting where he manages innovations in security across multiple industries. Kumar is a founding member of the Certified CISO Executive Board and has helped shape the CCISO program and its initiatives since its very inception.

The next category was the Innovative Security Project of the Year, wherein EC-Council recognizes a CISO for a specific effort that made a lasting impact to his or her business. The winner, Jorge Mario Ochoa Vasquez is the CISO for Tigo Guatemala and he focused his innovative project on an area critical to the success of a security program: end user awareness. After a thorough measure of the demographics of his company, adjustments were made to the communication strategy that leads to drastically improved outcomes for participation, comprehension, and phishing incidences.

The next award was Most Improved Security Program of the Year. This award was designed to recognize CISOs who have been able to make huge strides in their programs in a short time. Nominations outlined where their programs started, the changes implemented, and the improvements realized. The runner-up for the award was John Young, IT Security Manager for his work with the People’s Postcode Lottery security system.

The winner, Hemant Dusane, Chief Information Security & Risk Management Officer of Rage Frameworks, focused improvements for his program on reducing the delays caused by information security measures to product development, thereby reducing project teams’ hesitance in involving security as early in the project as possible.

The third award is for the CISO of the Year and is EC-Council’s chance to look out at the industry and acknowledge a distinguished professional making a difference in the security of not just their organization, but the world at large. The finalists for the awards were John Christly, Global CISO at Netsurion and EventTracker; Heath Renfrow, CISO at US Army Medicine; Sumit Dhar, Senior Director & Head, Information Security & Risk Management; Tim Callahan, SVP, Global Chief Security Officer at Aflac; Ashvin Parankusha Narasimha Murthy; Risk and Compliance Leader at IBM; Aneesh Nair, CIO at NDTV Worldwide; and Youseff Elmalty, Global Cybersecurity Architect at IBM.

The winner, Heath Renfrow, CISO of Army Medicine, oversees a vast network of military healthcare entities. He has helped guide his teams to executing the Risk Management Framework and NIST standards throughout not only the enterprise, but also with the medical devices and their vendors. He oversees a complex and vast worldwide cyber security program, which not only includes the security of the enterprise, but the manpower recruitment, training programs, budgetary management, and many other complicated duties.

The final award was the Certified CISO of the Year. The Certified CISO program has been in place since 2011 but has seen an explosion of growth around the world in the last two years. Finalists include Favour Femi-Oyewole, CISO of the Nigerian Stock Exchange; Vijay Haripal, Director, Solutions Architecture for Optiv; Bob Van Graft, Director IT/CISO for Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam; Cory Mazzola; CISO of the Las Vegas Sands Corp; Sean Walls, Senior Director of Information Security for Presidio; Mike Santos, Director of Security and Information Governance; Syed Ovais Irfan, ISM South Asia Region SSC, IT Manager, BGV Pakistan Pvt. Ltd; Patric Versteeg, CISO at Novamedia; Craig Goodwinn, Vice President, Chief Security Officer (CSO) at CDK Global; Marco Pacchiardo, Senior Enterprise Security Architect EMEA at Akamai; and Blake Holman, CIO & HIPAA Security Officer at St. David’s Foundation.

The CCISO of the Year winner is Favour Femi-Oyewole, CISO of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, a self-driven, motivated, problem-solving CISO with a positive, can-do attitude. Oyewole strives to suggest ideas, innovations, and drive solutions. She worked tirelessly to deliver twenty policies within 6 months of joining the organization and this had grown to about 120 security policies at the time of the nomination.

About EC-Council 
EC-Council has been the world’s leading information security certification body since the launch of their flagship program, Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), which created the ethical hacking industry in 2002. Since the launch of CEH, EC-Council has added industry-leading programs to their portfolio to cover all aspects of information security including EC-Council Certified Security Analyst (ECSA), Computer Hacking Forensics Investigator (CHFI), Certified Chief Information Security Officer (CCISO), among others. EC-Council Foundation, the non-profit branch of EC-Council, created Global CyberLympics, the world’s first global hacking competition. EC-Council Foundation also hosts a suite of conferences across the US and around the world including Hacker Halted, Global CISO Forum, TakeDownCon, and CISO Summit. For more information about EC-Council, please see http://www.eccouncil.org.

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Amber Pedroncelli
EC-Council
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