Focusing on new frontiers in cyberspace and cybersecurity – Business Post


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Focusing on new frontiers in cyberspace and cybersecurity

Senator Gerard Craughwell; Carmel Somers (ICT Skillnet); Michael Conway (Renaissance/Cyber Expo Ireland) and Paul C Dwyer (ICTTF/Cyberrisk International). Pictures: Maura Hickey

The Renaissance Cyber Expo & Conference 2022 is the first port of call for organisations to meet the experts who will demystify cybersecurity and help them get up to date on trends and developments

Leopardstown Pavilion, Dublin played host to the fifth Irish Cyber Expo & Conference Ireland on Thursday April 28 last, where more than 30 IT & OT global security software vendors and 20-plus IT/OT service providers were in attendance to support more than 400 business and technical leaders from across Ireland.

The day did not disappoint and continues the Cyber Expo & Conference Ireland’s legacy of helping demystifying cybersecurity and keeping organisations up to date on trends and developments in the global marketplace.

The Covid-19 pandemic dramatically altered cyberspace as most of the world became more dependent on the internet. While businesses changed their operations to slow the virus spread, cybercriminals adapted to spread other kinds of viruses. Beginning with the worldwide lockdowns, businesses have tried to restructure their operations to function partially or fully online while the general population has relied upon the internet for shopping, work and almost everything else.

Michael Conway, director, Renaissance, feels that “companies struggled to adapt to the chaos and confusion of the pandemic; their guard was let down long enough for cyber criminals to establish a foothold in protected corporate environments, and ever since then, cyber criminals have taken advantage at every opportunity to commit intellectual property theft, launch phishing attacks, ransomware attacks and a host of other cyber-attacks.

“And with Cloud, IoT and AI technologies all meaning that the stakes are rising, and with the cost of a breach ever more debilitating, government departments and organisations of ALL sizes are having to rethink their cyber strategy.”

Simon Broadbent, Entrust; Iain Beveridge, Entrust; David Lello, Burning Tree; Sabrina Hamed, Systancia and Geoff Bartlett, Ascertia

This year’s Cyber Expo & Conference Ireland was specifically focused on providing deep expert advice and guidance for Irish businesses post Covid.

The following were a few complementary additions to the normal business and technology conference elements.

An excellent keynote from Paul C Dwyer, Trust and Security at the Heart of the EU Digital Decade – European Union where he outlined the EU Cyber Strategy and how it is supported by a range of new rules to make physical and digital entities more resilient; all powered by a number of forthcoming pieces of legislation.

The CER (Critical Entities Resilience) directive, the updated NIS 2 (Network Information Systems) directive and Dora (Digital Operational Resilience Act) which is imminent and aims to ensure that all entities in the financial system have the appropriate safeguards in place to mitigate cyber attacks.

This legislation will require firms to ensure that they can withstand all types of ICT (Information Communications Technology) related disruptions and threats. This is essentially the European Union’s attempt to streamline the third-party risk management process across financial institutions. Dora will require all organisations to implement cyber risk management strategies and third-party risk management programs. Game changers and there is €4.6billion of support available to implement!

There was then a masterclass in digital transformation with Professor Niall McKeown, sponsored by ICT Skillnet. This masterclass aimed to demystify the process by taking you through a whistle-stop tour of the 5 change blocks for successful digital transformation.

Professor Niall McKeown is chief executive of Ionology and creator of several of the world’s most advanced and widely used digital transformation frameworks and models. The session was entertaining and interactive where you got the opportunity to score your business and its performance in the digital economy. The results were amazing and insightful – thoroughly great reviews of the benefit of attending.

And to wrap up a perfect day, there was a special treat in store for the 100-plus attendees staying to hear the national cyber discussion debate: ‘National Cyber Security Discussion – Is Ireland Ready?’ a session of three parts, where the experts debated opinions on Ireland’s Cyber Status and explored if there were concrete initiatives that could be taken to help bolster Ireland’s cyber resilience.

Desiree Lee, chief technology officer (Data), Armis

Led by Paul C Dwyer, President of the ICTTF International Cyber Threat Task Force, the session kicked off with an insightful view on the blurred lines between the worlds of cybercrime and warfare – On the Internet Everywhere is Ukraine, where Paul posed the links between Putin and the cyber attack on the HSE.

Next up was Senator Gerard Craughwell, (appointee to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence, the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communications Networks and the Public Petitions Committee in 2020) who discussed the current failings of the government to address the real cyber issues and challenges facing Ireland both now and for continued future investment, and in particular their failure to adequately resource what should be a key department, not submerged as part of other departments with their own critical issues to focus on.

And the third and final part of the session was the expert panel of: Pat Larkin, chief executive, Ward Solutions; Desiree Lee, chief technology officer (Data), Armis; Kevin O'Loughlin, chief executive of Irish Headquartered MSP Nostra; and Michael Conway, director at Renaissance, and founder of Cyber Expo & Conference Ireland.

Said Michael Conway: “This year’s response has been phenomenal. Post Covid we were taking a risk to deliver an In-person event, but we believe the event this week has definitely been our best to date. The location has helped, and I believe people have been just itching to get out and speak to others in the industry again. We hope the event has given some people some answers or at least food for thought.”

With thanks to . . .

The Cyber Expo & Ireland Team would also like to take this opportunity to extend their sincere thanks to event partners Paul C Dwyer and the ICTTF, the Business Post as media partner and ICT Skillnet for their hard work & support in preparation for this event.

In addition, Cyber Conference Ireland incorporated world-class thought leadership from experts across 8 dedicated Streams – all supported from the security community so a big thank you to:

Sean Reynolds, chief executive, Rits Information Security – Always On Security

Gary Robinson, CISO Uleska – Application Security

Alex Burnham, director IT Audit & Security, Mazars – Business Email Compromise

Carmel Somers, human capital strategist, ICTSkillnet – Compliance & 3rd Party Risk Management

Redmond O’Leary, executive business adviser – Complementing the Microsoft Security Stack

Emmet Ryan, Editor of Connected, Business Post – Cyber Security in Healthcare

Dr Vivienne Mee, chief executive, VMGroup – Identity & Rights Management

Paul Hearns, owner, PJH Consulting – Operational Technology (OT Cybersecurity)

Finally, last but not least of the mentions – the exhibitors themselves demonstrating world class security solutions, to which Renaissance and the team at Cyber Expo & Conference Ireland would like to thank sincerely for their continued support.

Armis, Ascertia, Awingu, Barracuda, Bitdefender, Bluedog, Bullwall, Censornet, Clearcrypt, Carbonite/Webroot, Checkmarx, Cyber Risk Aware, Cyglass, Entrust, Hornet Security, Iboss, Immersive Labs, Octiga, Progress (Kemp/Flowmon), Panorays, Rackmount, RedSift, Systancia, Usecure, Watchguard, Zyxel; also value-added resellers and specialists in the cyber space, all with local presence and expertise to advise and deploy Cyber Strategies; Actionpoint, Burning Tree, Cara Network Solutions, DNA IT Solutions, Future Range, ITMS, Integrity 360, Inspirit Vision, National Standards Authority Ireland (NSAI), Leaf, NSSL, Oleson, Rits, Smarttech, Styrve, VMGroup, Unitec and Unity IT.

Renaissance remains a trusted partner to the Irish resellers and their customers, with over 30 years’ experience and expertise. They are continually introducing new, cutting edge and industry leading data security and compliance solutions into the Irish market and have helped introduce, in excess of 40 new security solutions over the past five years.

Renaissance has built its reputation in the Irish marketplace, by offering excellent pre/post sales service to its extensive network base, and by an ongoing desire to bring added value to its customers.

Michael Conway said that he was delighted with the hugely positive feedback about the event. “Renaissance is delighted that we, through our vendor partners were able to deliver this expertise and these experts at no cost to Irish businesses,” he said.

“The amazing success of the expo and conference shows that there is a huge interest and concern about cyber and the impact it can have on all of our lives.”

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