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Top InfoSec Innovator Awards for 2024 – FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions


Early Bird Rate until 7/19/2024

Winners to be Announced during our annual CISO Conference 2024

The Black Unicorn awards program is now part of the Top InfoSec Innovator awards program.  With your paid entry into the Top InfoSec Innovator awards program, you will automatically be entered into the Black Unicorn awards program at no extra cost.  Judges will independently determine Black Unicorns for 2024 from Top InfoSec Innovator entries based on their current status in the marketplace without any need for the innovator to fill out any additional forms or provide executive summaries.

Finalists, through paid Showcase sponsorship, will be giving the opportunity to present their solution in the Top InfoSec Innovators showcase during our in-person intimate private invitation only CISO conference taking place October 31 and November 1st 2024 at the Ritz-Carlton, Orlando, Florida USA, where 120+ Top Global CISOs gather each year.  We have very limited room for finalists to showcase their solutions, first come first serve, and once the showcase is full, we still want to celebrate all of our winners so therefore, we’ve already setup the awards like last year – you do not have to be at the conference to win.  We have a virtual red carpet already setup, again, with incredible high traffic website and social media marketing and much more to help bolster the good news around our winners during our 2nd half of 2024, 12th anniversary and 12th annual awards during CyberDefenseCon 2024.


Here are the entry deadlines and nomination fees, which we’ve reduced per category entry for a very low fixed price.  Take advantage of this excellent discount and choose more categories for a better chance to win.

Awards Entry Timeframe Price per single category Start End
Super Early Bird $495 12/1/2023 6/28/2024
Early Bird $595 6/29/2024 7/19/2024
Normal Entry $695 7/20/2024 8/31/2024
Late Entry $795 9/1/2024 10/20/2024
Winners will be given the opportunity to showcase their solution to the Top Global CISOs, in the innovators showcase during CyberDefenseCon 2024 (additional fees apply)


Awards Open:  Officially Open and Announced on December 1, 2023 – this is your opportunity to get in extra early.

Awards Close:  Judging is immediate, on the fly, and the program closes on October 20, 2024.

Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.)

What are the submission requirements?

This is Cyber Defense Magazine’s twelfth year of honoring cyber defense innovators. Our submission requirements are for any startup, early stage, later stage or public companies in the INFORMATION SECURITY (INFOSEC) cyber defense space who believe they have a unique and compelling value proposition for their executives, products or services.  Your company can be located anywhere in the world.

Can we pay now and submit our nomination forms later?

Yes, we’ve made it easier this year, just go to the apply now page, found here:

Are there award entries with comarketing packages like last year?

Yes, we’ve made it easier this year, just go to the comarketing packages page, found here:

Where is the nomination form (please submit ONLY after payment)?

Can we apply even if we will not be attending the conference?

Yes, we even have a virtual red carpet for winners – we’ll ship you your trophy before CyberDefenseCon 2024 opens.  We also have our second highest online traffic spike during CyberDefenseCon, a huge social media following and one of the top keywords #CDM during CyberDefenseCon – we’ll use this and much more to get the word out if you win.

Can we win even if we are a start-up company?

Yes, this award program dives at the product level, so it doesn’t matter if you are a seed, startup, early-stage, later stage or public  InfoSec company since it is not based on your company’s structure or history even with the company’s financials, it’ll only be based on the uniqueness and compelling value proposition of your executives, products or services.

What are the chances of winning?

Our judges select winners for each category and then determine one of the following eight options: “BEST”, “CUTTING EDGE”, “HOT COMPANY”, “EDITOR’S CHOICE”, “LEADER”, “MOST INNOVATIVE”, “NEXT GEN” and “PUBLISHER’S CHOICE”. So, there’s really a high chance of winning.

The category we’d like to apply for is not listed in the list of categories, can we create our own category?

Yes, you may choose the category you think is the best fit for your company. And you can even create your own category (subject to judging approval). You’ll just need to indicate it in the nomination form and we’ll get it to our judges for a rapid review and response.

If we choose a more expensive package is there a higher chance to get the award?

It makes sense that there is a higher chance of winning if you take advantage of a more expensive package since it contains more entries. The more entries you apply for in multiple categories you fit into, the higher chance of winning in at least one of them.

What is the website for the CISO Conference aka CyberDefenseCon 2024?

Are there other marketing opportunities for this conference right can reach up to 250 Top Global CISO Winners (120-150 attending)?

Yes, here is the Sponsorship primer:

What are the average impressions of the banners?

We’ve tightened up our banner engine and it evenly displays banners across six of our highest traffic receiving websites.  We limit the total number of banners to ensure more impressions and higher click through rates.  If the monthly traffic (which ranges annually from 500,000 monthly visits to over 5,000,000 during a spike such as the week of a major conference like RSAC, where we are a major (platinum level) media sponsor) is let’s say 1,000,000 unique visitors, and there are 10 banners, each banner would receive 100,000 monthly impressions with a 2-5% click through rate.

 If we buy a co-marketing package but do not win an award, will we still get the inclusions of the package?

Taking advantage of the co-marketing package is a win-win for you and the best choice, since even if you’ll not win an award, you will still be able to use the co-marketing opportunities included in it to market your products and services to the perfect demographic buying audience of IT and InfoSec professionals.

We will not participate in CyberDefenseCon 2024 is there in general still a chance to do the interview (integrated into the package) or what else do you have to offer instead of the interview?

The CDTV hot seat interview is done virtually and remotely through Zoom including the optional CDTV guest background file which makes it appear that you are in our normal studio. Regarding the schedule, our team will coordinate with you regarding the availability of your executive and will set a date for the interview.

What will winners receive beyond all your incredible marketing coverage and buzz?

  • Award logo shield and description published in our annual Black Unicorn Report distributed online and throughout the CyberDefenseCon 2024 in Orlando, FL, USA.
  • Your Company’s name and award-winning product in “Cyber Defense Top InfoSec Innovator Awards of 2024” listing in our annual Black Unicorn Report.
  • Sample template for your press release about the award that can be used by you for media circulation throughout the year.
  • High quality acrylic award will be given to you in time for our Virtual Red-carpet Photo-op or hand delivered to your innovator showcase booth or mailed (reasonable fees for repackaging and reshipping may apply, especially for overseas shipments).
  • A high-resolution award shield will be emailed to you for your press release along with the shared rights of award logo usage throughout the year.
  • You’ll be included vial the link to winners in our email to 200K subscribers, many of whom are buyers of InfoSec products, services and solutions.

Interested in Applying?

If you’re looking for a major marketing boost at incredibly discounted rates, go here, first:

If you just simply want to apply for one or more award categories, go here:

Step 1.   Select a Category to Apply for a Cyber Defense Top InfoSec Innovator Award for 2024.
Step 2.  Click the Apply Now button and make your application payment using Paypal or Stripe.
Step 3.  Fill out the nomination form.

While our Judges will decide (based upon follow up information we’ll request from you) if you will be a finalist and possibly a winner for your category, these include various possible awards per category. They are “BEST”, “HOTTEST”, “EDITOR’S CHOICE”, “MOST INNOVATIVE” and “NEXT GENERATION”. If you already believe your product deserves one of these four award types in your category, simply make note of that in your communications with our team.  We’ll then follow-up with you, shortly, to collect more information about your company, products and/or services.

Tell me more about the judging?

The judges are CISSP, FMDHS, CEH, certified security professionals who will be voting based on their independent review of the Company materials on the website of each submission including but not limited to data sheets, white papers, product literature and other market variables. CDM has a flexible philosophy to find more innovative players with great executives, new and unique technologies, than the one with the most customers or money in the bank. CDM is always asking “What’s Next?” so we are looking for Next Generation Cyber Defense Products and Services. Announcements will be made for all our winners in our press release, at the CyberDefenseCon 2024 expo and on our website on the week of October 31, 2024.

Why are our Awards So Important?

This will be our twelfth year of delivering these awards for the most innovative and valuable cyber defense companies from around the globe.  There is prestige associated for winners of these awards.  You are also automatically entered in the Black Unicorn Awards with these judges:

Winning a Top InfoSec Innovator Award helps with media coverage, sales, marketing, investment and credibility to rise above the noise.  With 3,500 cyber defense companies around the globe boasting the best executives, team, products or services, we help you get above the noise of this large group – we only select a small number in select categories.  It will be your opportunity to shine in the spotlight throughout 2024 and beyond.  We have the following growing INFOSEC and IT readership (many are CISOs and VPs of IT and InfoSec professionals –  cyber security product and service buyers) viewer, listener and readership:

Social Media Status as of 1H, 2024 (growing daily):

  • Over 150k opt in email subscribers with 50k being CISOs
  • Over 1m-5m DNS Queries on all of our platforms, combined
  • Over 250k InfoSec Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook followers

All normal or early entry winners will be published in the annual Black Unicorn Report special edition and will have their award available for a Red Carpet Photo-op or bring to their booth during the CyberDefenseCon 2024.  If you are not at this conference you can easily arrange for us to ship you your award free in the USA (minor shipping/handling/duties upcharge, for international shipments).  There are also many options to help you leverage the marketing opportunities, electronically, throughout the year.

If you have other questions, we’ll gladly answer them at [email protected] and potentially add them here for others.

Toll Free (USA): 1-833-844-9468   International: +1-603-280-4451 M-F 8am to 6pm EDT

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  1. Applying for an award helps bolster your credibility to current and future employees, investors, partners and customers.
  2. If you feel your company fits in multiple award categories, you can apply for more than one category and increase your odds of being named a winner.
  3. Helps build brand awareness:  there’s tremendous buzz around our awards programs during the conference.
  4. Our audience alone, and up to 5 million monthly visitors to our platforms, during the conference including our 200k opt-in email subscribers and nearly that number of social media followers puts us in the top three keywords and media partner highest traffic sites during the awards announcement and the conference.
  5. These awards are an excellent marketing tool, as part of one of the top leading cyber security news and information source.
  6. Helps you broaden your network and increase interest by potential customers, who might not have heard of your company elsewhere.
  7. It’s the perfect sales tool – the winners will be announced and published in the Black Unicorn Report wherein it will be distributed to major industries including their CISOs, VPs, IT Staff and much more.
  8. We love new categories and innovators – if you don’t find your category, let us know and the judges will most likely approve adding it.
  9.  We spend tens of thousands of dollars marketing the awards, the red carpet, the Black Unicorn Report, just for our conference, the CDTV hotseat interviews and much more.  If you win, you will be in the spotlight and gain industry notoriety, especially with what we have planned for our 12th year of this awards program and our 12th anniversary in business.
  10. While our Black Unicorn Awards are focused on ‘soon to be worth $1B’ infosec companies, these Top InfoSec Innovator Awards also highlight all categories of InfoSec and all types of cybersecurity companies are welcome to apply, from startups to public companies to help CISOs and IT Staff find market leaders as well as innovative solutions from all over the Globe, to be showcased during our exclusive invitation only CISO Conference.