The RH-ISAC awards are an annual opportunity to honor the individuals and member companies who have gone above and beyond in their commitment to the RH-ISAC community. The recipients of these awards have displayed extraordinary dedication to the culture of sharing and have gone out of their way to assist RH-ISAC in fulfilling our mission to protect as one.
This year’s honorees were recognized during the RH-ISAC Member Meeting & Celebration Dinner on September 20, which took place in person for the first time since 2019 at the Dallas Cowboys practice facility, The Star, in Frisco, TX.
In case you missed it, here are this year’s outstanding recipients!
Fast Starter Award:
This award recognizes a company that has been a member for less than 12 months but has quickly become a valuable contributor across RH-ISAC sharing platforms. United Airlines joined in February of 2022 and has already jumped in, becoming active on Slack and Member Exchange.
Their managing director of cyber defense, Sean Mason, said of the value they’ve gotten from membership, “We’ve been able to leverage a closer relationship with companies we wouldn’t normally associate with and learn from them analyst to analyst, which in turn has helped form and even reshape pieces of our strategy for specific cyber concerns.”
Team Player of the Year:
Jeff Mercer, Kontoor Brands
This award honors an RH-ISAC member practitioner who has demonstrated significant selflessness in providing expertise and leadership in one or more intel working groups – including presenting or facilitating sessions and spearheading new working groups – within the last 12 months.
This year’s Team Player of the Year is Jeff Mercer, senior cyber incident handler at Kontoor Brands. John Scrimsher, CISO at Kontoor, said of Jeff, “He has a great passion for information security and valuable experience working with security in different operating environments. His openness in sharing that experience with others helps his team learn and grow and only enhances those he works with.”
Jeff is an active member of the Incident Response Working Group, and he was recently featured on the RH-ISAC podcast to discuss IR playbooks.
Associate Member of the Year:
Palo Alto Networks
The Associate Member of the Year Award is given to an Associate Member that has provided valuable thought leadership, actionable intelligence, and other resources to the Core Member community.
This year, the membership has voted to present this award to Palo Alto Networks. Palo Alto’s Unit 42 CTI Blog updates are regularly published in the Analyst Community on Member Exchange, providing members with valuable threat intel trends.
Practitioner of the Year:
Seth Monteleone, Lowe’s Companies Inc.
The Cybersecurity Practitioner of the Year Award is given to a retail, hospitality, or travel cyber intelligence practitioner who has given significant time and energy to their involvement in the RH-ISAC community. They add value for their fellow members by sharing threat intelligence and contributing content to webinars, events, and working groups. This individual is a dedicated champion for cyber intelligence sharing.
There were many nominees for this award this year, but the membership voted to give this award to Seth Monteleone, cybersecurity analyst for Lowe’s Companies Inc. If you are an active member of RH-ISAC’s Analyst Member Exchange Community, you’ve certainly seen Seth’s name, as he is one of the most active sharers. Seth consistently contributes valuable intel across all of RH-ISAC’s sharing channels as well as participating in the Weekly Intelligence Call.
Seth’s supervisor, Logan Foshee, lead threat intelligence analyst at Lowe’s, said of Seth, “Seth has been instrumental in delivering value by maturing the Lowe’s threat intelligence sharing function in the Security Operations Center. This is instrumental in providing a better and more secure customer experience for the entire retail industry.”
CISO of the Year:
Ben Vaughn, Hyatt Hotels
The CISO of the Year Award honors an exceptional leader who not only contributes to the CISO community but also empowers their team to collaborate and engage, adopting a culture of sharing throughout their cyber team. The recipient is a thought leader whose experiences add strategic value and whose engagements are an asset to the larger community, helping RH-ISAC advance our mission of enabling consumer-facing companies to defend against cyber threats.
This year’s recipient is Ben Vaughn, CISO of Hyatt Hotels. Ben is always willing to help his fellow CISOs by sharing his experiences at Hyatt, participating in calls on developing initiatives such as zero trust, and presenting on webinars, such as March’s Cyber Thursday session on bot mitigation.
Sharing & Collaboration Challenge Winners
At its core, the RH-ISAC is built upon members sharing valuable intelligence – as well as best practices and thought leadership – with their fellow cybersecurity professionals. We initiated the “Sharing & Collaboration Challenge” to recognize the teams and individuals who, through their engagement on our intel sharing platforms, attending and speaking at events, and overall involvement, make our special community stronger. These are the winners of the Sharing & Collaboration Challenge for the past year.
TIE Silencer Class
1st Place: Crutchfield Corporation
2nd Place: Hyatt Hotels
3rd Place: Kontoor Brands
Millennium Falcon Class
1st Place: Gap Inc.
2nd Place: Victoria’s Secret
3rd Place: Dick’s Sporting Goods
Attack Cruiser Class
1st Place: Marriott International
2nd Place: Las Vegas Sands Corp.
3rd Place: Best Buy
Star Destroyer Class
1st Place: Lowe’s Companies Inc.
2nd Place: Target
3rd Place: Nike, Inc.
Top 5 individual contributors to the Annual Sharing & Collaboration Challenge:
1st Place: Seth Monteleone, Lowe’s Companies Inc.
2nd Place: Nezha Ould Slimane, Marriott International
3rd Place: Matthew Brady, Target
4th Place: Jeffrey Davidhizar, Crutchfield Corporation
5th Place: ShiChee Wee, Las Vegas Sands Corp.
Thank you to everyone who voted in this year’s awards and attended the Member Meeting & Celebration Dinner, to congratulate these recipients. We appreciate the contributions all of our members make to our community!