From the virtually unrivalled scale of the MOVEit hack, to high-profile attacks against the likes of MGM Resorts, Capita, and The UK’s electoral commission, cybersecurity continues to dominate the front pages, ensuring the issue remains front of mind for companies and journalists alike. And as threats become increasingly complex and surge in number, cross-industry collaboration has never been more critical.
This need for collaboration prompted award-winning events specialist, Nineteen Group, to last year launch the International Cyber Expo – an event created for the community by the community, to come together to address threats, priorities and challenges, showcase technology, and learn from some of the industry’s greatest minds. Now in its second year, the show has fast become a major fixture in the cybersecurity calendar, and will see some of the biggest names in cyber appear alongside government bodies.
Ahead of the event, we spoke with Lisa Ventura MBE, member of International Cyber Expo’s Advisory Council and Founder, Cyber Security Unity, to find out about some of the biggest talking points and why inclusivity is so critical.
Why are events such as International Cyber Expo so important for the industry?
As the damage wrought by attacks has underscored, cybersecurity is a critical requirement. However, despite its importance, the industry is suffering from a severe skills shortfall, which is further compounded by huge numbers of people leaving the profession. While there are many reasons for people leaving the sector, including bullying and abuse, burnout, and gender bias and discrimination, it’s become abundantly clear that many who leave the industry do so because they don’t feel welcome.
Misconceptions and stereotypes, the perception that cybersecurity involves purely reacting to attacks, the complexity of the role and sensationalism can all help to perpetuate myths about the industry that deter people from joining and drive others to feel it’s not for them. For the sector to grow, addressing this problem head on is critical – which requires concerted efforts from all stakeholders, including cybersecurity professionals, organisations, educational institutions, media, and policymakers.
Events such as International Cyber Expo are instrumental in encouraging this collaboration. However, it is vital that collaboration is inclusive, to ensure all voices within cyber feel heard, and people from all demographics and backgrounds are able to thrive in the profession. Designing a show that is inclusive for all was therefore fundamental to our goals for this year’s event – in addition to senior-level roundtables, informative speaking sessions by experts in the field, immersive demonstrations of the latest cutting-edge technologies, award-winning table-top exercises and Escape Room simulations, the show will also feature a Women in Cyber Security event and a Cyber Wellbeing Corner, placing the topic of mental health and burnout front and centre, while ensuring the event represents all factions of cybersecurity.
What are you most excited about for this year’s event?
International Cyber Expo has fast become the event where business, innovation and education converge, and this is truly reflected in the agenda. As governments increasingly look to act to improve cybersecurity posture, it’s clear that the topic is a national – and a global – priority. We’re delighted to have a dedicated Government Zone at the event, featuring the likes of the National Crime Agency, The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, The Metropolitan Police and the UK Cybersecurity Council. Alongside this, we’ll have speakers including Ciaran Martin CB, Oxford University Professor and Former CEO of National Cyber Security Centre, Purvi Kay, Head of Cyber Security – Governance, Risk & Compliance – BAE Systems, and Steve Baker, Principal Technology Advisor – Ofcom.
We’ll have talks dedicated to supporting SMEs with cybersecurity strategies, a deep dive into sanction risk management in the wake of the war in Ukraine, and a panel on the rise of AI and quantum computing and what it means for cyber. And, with wellbeing so integral both to the industry and the event, the wellbeing corner will be a really exciting new addition, where attendees can get information and advice, have some quiet time away from the busy show floor and hear about the breakthrough Wellbeing in Cyber Charter, a commitment made for and by the cybersecurity community to improve mental health in the sector.
International Cyber Expo takes place on the 26th and 27th of September at the Olympia, London. For more information or to arrange a chat with the Eskenzi team during the event, please drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll also be on Booth 75 throughout the event so please do stop by and say hello. See you at the show!