RH-ISAC Announces 2021 Award Winners

The RH-ISAC community has made their selections for the 2021 Awards!
Peer Choice Awards

As a member organization, RH-ISAC relies on the support and engagement of our membership to help us #ProtectAsOne. The RH-ISAC Awards are an opportunity for our community to recognize those individuals and companies who have gone above and beyond this year, collaborating to share threat intelligence and best practices that help to strengthen security operations.

This year’s recipients were honored during the RH-ISAC Member Meeting on September 27, which also kicked off the 2021 RH-ISAC Cyber Intelligence Summit. In case you missed it, here are this year’s outstanding recipients! Make sure to congratulate them when you see them around the Member Exchange!

Associate Member of the Year: Flashpoint

Associate Member

This Peer Choice Award is for exceptional support as an Associate Member to the RH-ISAC organization and retailer member companies. They have displayed valuable support to RH-ISAC members by way of their offerings of thought leadership on agendas, webinars, blogs, newsletters, free or reduced rate of service, and more.

Flashpoint is no stranger to the Associate Member of the Year Award, having received it in 2017, 2019, and 2020! Flashpoint continues to support the RH-ISAC intelligence team and the community by granting access to data, expertise, and valuable reporting. Through a keen understanding of what intelligence matters the most to the retail, hospitality and travel sectors, this team has provided invaluable and consistent services to our community.


Cybersecurity Practitioner of the Year: Matt Brady, Director, Cyber Threat Intelligence for Target

The recipient of this Peer Choice Award is a retail, hospitality, or travel cyber intelligence practitioner who has demonstrated significant time, energy and involvement to add value to the RH-ISAC organization by sharing threat intelligence via the various sharing channels and contributing content to webinars and events. This individual is voted on by their peers to receive this distinction of Cybersecurity Practitioner of the Year! 

Matt Brady

Matt’s current role is director of the tactical cyber threat intelligence (CTI) team at Target. He has a decade of experience performing cybersecurity operations for Fortune 150 organizations in the defense and aerospace, financial services, information technology, and retail sectors. He’s also an adjunct instructor at the University of Rhode Island teaching graduate-level cybersecurity courses.

Jodie Kautt, VP of Cybersecurity at Target said of Matt, “We are so fortunate to have him as a cybersecurity professional, not only for our team but also for the RH-ISAC community. He truly walks the walk when it comes to collaboration and intelligence-sharing, and consistently demonstrates the value of cybersecurity as a team sport. We are all stronger when we partner together.”


CISO of the Year: Rich Agostino, SVP & CISO for Target

The CISO of the year Peer Choice Award honors exceptional leadership of a chief information security officer or equivalent from the RH-ISAC Core Member community. This individual empowers their team to innovate, adapt, and evolve their processes to fit the needs of the evolving threat landscape. They champion, nurture, support, and encourage their team which results in high performance and outcomes. This individual is voted on by their peers to receive this distinction of CISO of the Year!

Rich AgostinoRich Agostino is a Senior Vice President and the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) at Target. Rich joined Target in 2014 and played a pivotal role in fostering a strong security culture through Target’s technology transformation.

Rich is passionate about inspiring and diversifying the next generation of cyber professionals and is an active member of the RH-ISAC, serving as Chair of the Board of Directors and keynoting events such as the Cyber Intelligence Summit.”

“I couldn’t be more impressed with Rich’s leadership, particularly through the extreme test of the last 18 months. His team is simply outstanding in how they’ve kept us secure amid surge and volatility. There’s no tradeoff between a secure guest experience and a great guest experience because of Rich’s focus on achieving our security and business objectives at the same time,” said Mike McNamara, chief information officer, Target. “On top of it all, he continues to dedicate significant time and resources as the new RH-ISAC Board Chair to help the cybersecurity community work better together for the benefit of us all.”


Fast Starter Award: Kontoor Brands

The organization that receives this award has been a Core Member for less than 12 months. Since joining the RH-ISAC, this organization’s cybersecurity team quickly started sharing, contributing and engrained sharing into a regular cadence. The winner has made the most combined listserv and Slack shares since they joined the RH-ISAC. 

Kontoor BrandsKontoor Brands, the global lifestyle apparel company, became an RH-ISAC member in 2020 and their team has been taking advantage of the ability to connect with other retailers to share attack patterns and get assistance in building their own MISP server.

Here’s what their CISO has to say about the RH-ISAC: “Participating in the RH-ISAC has helped build confidence with my board that we have the right information available at the right time regarding threats and concerns across the industry. From the CISO discussions to threat feeds, surveys and Slack channels, RH-ISAC has been a huge benefit, and we look forward to contributing to all of our shared successes in securing our industry.”


Team Players of the Year

Team Players of the Year

This award honors three RH-ISAC members who have demonstrated significant contributions in providing expertise to and participating in the activities of one or more intel working groups and discussions within the last 12 months.

Nick Leicht, Software Engineer for Gap Inc.

Nick Leicht is a Software Engineer at Gap Inc. and one of RH-ISAC’s consistent contributors. He is an active member of numerous working groups including the Crowdstrike Falcon EDR Users Group and the SOAR Users Group. He is also no stranger to the RH-ISAC awards, having received the Working Group Warrior Award in 2020.


Vanessa Aranda, Threat Intelligence Analyst for Gap Inc.

Vanessa Aranda is a Threat Intelligence Analyst in Gap’s Cyber Defense Center where she manages Github remediation, leads security strategy and training, performs dark web research, and supports incident response, red team, and loss prevention. In addition to being a routine speaker at RH-ISAC events, she is an active leader in RH-ISAC’s working groups including the Crowdstrike Falcon EDR Users Group, Dark Web Working Group, Organized Retail Crime Working Group, Summit Working Group, and the Third-Party Risk Management Working Group, earning her the title of 2021 Team Player.

Nick and Vanessa’s supervisor, Dave Collins, said “I’m pleased to see that Nick Leicht and Vanessa Aranda are both being recognized by RH-ISAC. These individuals represent excellence in all that they do both for Gap and for organizations in the InfoSec community that they contribute their time and efforts to. I want to send a hearty congratulations to them both!”

Jamie Buzzeo, Senior Manager, Threat Intelligence and Cyber Security Investigations for Marriott International

 Jaime is a senior manager at Marriott International, focusing on intel, incident response, forensics, and internal investigations. Jamie has certainly done her share of helping others through her participation in numerous technology users groups as well as the Dark Web Working Group, Hospitality Advisory Working Group, Intel & Engineering Advisory Group, Summit Working Group, and Risk Management Working Group. On top of all that, she has been an active speaker for the RH-ISAC with a presentation at the 2020 Cyber Intelligence Summit focused on how teams can better automate their workflows.

Marriott’s CISO, Arno Van der Walt, says of Jamie, “Jaime joined the Marriott family nearly three years ago. Since January 2019, she has displayed a passion for threat intelligence, and for sharing that intelligence with Marriott’s industry partners. Her persistence, unwavering discipline, and attention-to-detail have directly contributed to actionable threat intelligence, reflecting great credit upon herself, Marriott International, and the RH-ISAC.”


Outstanding Teams from the Sharing & Collaboration Challenge

The recipients of this award are based on cumulative points of the Sharing & Collaboration Challenge for the past 12 months. Winners are awarded in each team size category. 

Attack Cruiser Class

  • 1st Place: Marriott International
  • 2nd Place: Best Buy
  • 3rd Place: Home Depot

Millennium Falcon Class

  • 1st Place: Gap, Inc.
  • 2nd Place: Ulta Beauty
  • 3rd Place: Canadian Tire

TIE Silencer Class

  • 1st Place: Crutchfield
  • 2nd Place: Sally Beauty
  • 3rd Place: Hyatt Hotels

Star Destroyer Class

  • 1st Place: Target
  • 2nd Place: Lowe’s
  • 3rd Place: CVS Health

Sharing and Collaboration Challenge


Outstanding Contributors from the Sharing & Collaboration Challenge

Seth Monteleone

The recipients of this award are based on cumulative points of the Sharing & Collaboration Challenge for the past 12 months.

  • 1st Place: Seth Monteleone, Lowe’s
  • 2nd Place: Kyle Davis, Target
  • 3rd Place: Jeffrey Davidhizar, Crutchfield
  • 4th Place: Nezha Ould Slimane, Marriott International
  • 5th Place: Jamie Buzzeo, Marriott International

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