Business security

The Awards Dinners scam

I went to the Secure Computing Awards evening on Tuesday in London, coinciding with the infosec show.  The comedian was good. The company was good. Apart from the almost unbearable heat of the the venue what I really noticed was the scam that is the awards system.

This is how it works. There must have been 24 award categories with 4 or 5 companies shortlisted for most! The vast majority of these companies will have taken a table so that they could be there to collect their Award. The vast majority of them of course did not win anything. A table for ten will have been at least £1k each (not to mention the travel and accommodation costs). So whilst awards are free to attend there is a hidden cost.

Of course the winners get a gold badge and bragging rights which is why we all still do it. Fortunately for me the timing was good as I was going to be staying in London anyway.  My thanks to Omar Aguirre and his team at Optenet for their hospitality.

Trefor Davies

By Trefor Davies

Liver of life, father of four, CTO of, writer, poet,

5 replies on “The Awards Dinners scam”

Grump 🙂

Its only a scam if the methods used for deciding the winners are not clear and transparent (take, for example, the independent monitoring that all ISPA Awards entrants must go through to get onto the short list) and the sponsors are the only winners

I remember speaking with someone from a very reputable ISP based way up north who attended the ISPA’s because they were nominated for best VoIP Provider. Over a drink before the event I remember his words clearly – Quote “ We don’t stand a chance of winning, the winner is judged on performance and quality, we can see they have not even been on our network”… Want to guess who won?

many other orgs run this sort of scam, my favourite is the highly funded agencies who con community groups into giving them case studies on the pretence of winning an ‘award’.

One of the reasons why we withdrew our support for some that we typically would enter – We only enter those now whose customers vote directly for the candidates – Which, PC Pro etc. Custoerms who experience a service good or bad is what its about.

Awards have to be open and transparent otherwise they aren’t worth Jack.

In their defence the ISPAs are a quality award with appropriate levels of testing and transparency. These awards had 24 catgories!! I just thought there was an element of p#@~ taking, let alone the amount of time we had to sit through it.

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