R-CISC Membership Recognizes Its Own with Peer Choice Awards

Washington, DC—The Retail Cyber Intelligence Sharing Center (R-CISC) today announced the winners of its annual Peer Choice Awards in conjunction with its annual Retail Cyber Intelligence Summit. The Peer Choice Awards recognize those community members who show above-and-beyond dedication to sharing cyber intelligence on incidents, threats, vulnerabilities and associated threat remediation, and supporting the community as a whole in the overall effort to protect as one. The R-CISC Peer Awards program recognizes the contribution to the community of its winners and provides a forum for peer-nominated, peer-judged participation in cyber intelligence sharing.

Now in its second year, the Peer Choice Awards are selected and elected upon by the full community. “As a membership organization,” explained Jennifer McGoldrick-Stenberg, director of membership and operations for the R-CISC, “the Peer Choice Awards provide the opportunity for each individual to recognize those in our community who have stood out amidst a vibrant, strong, sharing and collaborative membership.”

The 2018 recipients of the Peer Choice Awards are:

Rich Agostino, chief information security officer (CISO), Target, was named CISO of the Year. This award honors exceptional leadership of a chief information security officer from the R-CISC member community. This individual empowers their team to innovate, adapt and evolve their processes to fit the needs of the evolving threat landscape—and encourages their team, which results in high performance and outcomes. “Rich exemplifies what a top CISO should be. He expertly navigates both the technical and compliance aspects of security, and is skilled at translating cyber challenges into clear and actionable business strategies for Target’s leadership team and board,” said Mike McNamara, chief information and digital officer, Target. “Equally if not more important, he’s a natural and inspiring leader who advanced Target’s information security program to an entirely new level. Rich and his team’s dedication to R-CISC is a value to Target and helps strengthen the cybersecurity community for all retailers.”

The information security team from Target was named Cybersecurity Team of the Year. This award recognizes that the Target team not only provides important information to the entire R-CISC community, but has a vision for how retail cybersecurity can be a collaborative effort for defense of the retail industry.  “At Target, we firmly believe that cyber security is not a competitive advantage within the retail industry, but a practice where we can all learn from each other and improve together.  My entire team has made it a priority to actively engage with other retailers and proactively share best practices and information that supports a strong R-CISC community. We know we can’t do this alone, and have invested significantly in the strong partnerships that we’ve built over the past few years and the progress made to continue to strengthen our community. I’m proud to have such a talented, engaged team at Target and—on behalf of Target’s cyber security team—truly appreciate this recognition from our peers.” Rich Agostino, chief information security officer, Target

Ryan Miller, senior manager, Cyber Threat Intelligence, Target, was named Cybersecurity Practitioner of the Year, again highlighting Target’s leadership and commitment to partnership in the retail cybersecurity community. Mr. Miller is a retail cyber intelligence practitioner who has demonstrated significant time, energy and involvement to add value to the R-CISC organization by sharing threat intelligence, contributing content to webinars, events, or working groups. He is a dedicated champion for cyber intelligence sharing. “We’re proud that Ryan Miller is being recognized with the Cybersecurity Practitioner of the Year award. Ryan has played a central role in Target’s partnership with the R-CISC and as a leader on our Cyber Intelligence Team. While many cyber security teams are monitoring current threats, Ryan’s focus on strategic intelligence and identifying future trends has been a valuable benefit to our community and helps us be best positioned for the challenges that are ahead,” Tim Crothers, vice president cybersecurity, Target.

Recognizing the importance of its Associate members that provide information and services to both the R-CISC and its membership, R-CISC named Intel 471 as its Associate Member of the Year. “Intel 471 is being recognized for their exceptional support as an associate member to the R-CISC organization, said Tommy McDowell, senior director of the Retail lSAC, they’ve been an associate member since 2016 and have provided numerous intelligence reports, as well as cyber intelligence briefings for our community.”

Two outstanding individuals achieved the Breakthrough Female in Cybersecurity award, showing the significance of diversity in cybersecurity:

Angeline Button, practice lead of intelligence & threat hunting, Dillard’s, has consistently shared information and intelligence to the entire R-CISC community. “Angeline Button has a passion for data and threat intelligence. She is leading IT by designing a new way to look at the data within our company and from external sources in order to make it meaningful and actionable to our organization,” said Nancy Jordan, manager of information security at Dillard’s. I am proud she is being recognized by R-CISC for her contribution to the community and proud of what she brings to Dillard’s.”

Vanessa Aranda, security custodian, Gap has shown her dedication to the fight against bad actors. “Vanessa joined Gap Inc in 2016, coming on board as a cybersecurity intern from the Year Up program and quickly transitioned to a security analyst with Gap’s Cyber Defense Center (CDC). Joining the Attack Intelligence team, Vanessa has focused on collecting, analyzing, and communicating digital threats across the open and dark web,” explained John Gearhart, director of the Cyber Defense Center at Gap. “In just a few years, Vanessa has already been an active contributor to the retail security community, leading Gap’s commitment to sharing intelligence through R-CISC, pioneered data-driven phishing programs for employees, and assisted on numerous fraud and hacking investigations.”

New to this year’s program, the Fast Starter Award recognizes a new R-CISC member who has jumped right in to participate and advance information sharing within the retail and consumer-facing industries. The Fast Starter Award was given to Chris Zell, senior director and head of IT Security for Wendy’s Company. In addition to having his team share the threats they are seeing, Chris has also jumped in to lead an important project outlining the various practices of incorporating information sharing within franchisee and licensee organizations.

“I congratulate all recipients of this year’s Peer Choice Awards,” stated R-CISC executive director Suzie Squier, “without the support and leadership of each one, the R-CISC could not have achieved the level of collaboration and spirit of information sharing this year that further strengthened not only each of our member companies, but also of the industries that we represent as a whole.”