Bill Hammond explains why we need Cyber Security Expo

October 2014 will see the birth of IP EXPO’s Cyber Security Expo, a free to attend event dedicated to the issues around cyber security. Taking place on the 8th and 9th of October at London’s ExCel, there is already a huge buzz around the exhibition. Bill Hammond, Event Director, told SecurityNewsDesk why this is, and why the industry needs a dedicated cyber event.

Why launch a dedicated cyber event and how is it connected to the connection to the established IP EXPO Europe?

We’ve seen strong growth in delegate interest in cyber security issues over the past two years in particular. 80% of our attendees now come with a specific interest in security content, so we decided to invest in tripling the amount of expert security speakers and to give this side of the event its own identity. We can now show cyber security solutions in context with the rest of the IT infrastructure stack, which makes perfect sense for IP EXPO Europe delegates and for security specialists alike.

What kind of people are exhibiting?

We have an interesting mix of blue-chip security brands such as Trend Micro, Kaspersky Lab, Palo Alto and F5, as well as start-ups such as Silent Circle, Alert Logic and Encryptics. There’s a clear focus on innovation and next-generation solutions throughout the exhibitor line-up.

Who do you have lined up to speak?

Where do I start? I don’t think there’s been a stronger speaking programme at a UK security event in years; we have world-class experts from the vendor and user sides of the industry, ranging from Mikko Hypponen (f-Secure) and Bruce Schneier (CO3 Systems), to Jon Callas (Silent Circle/BlackPhone), Darron Gibbard (Visa Europe) and Richard Knowlton (Vodafone).

What needs to happen in the security industry to keep up with cyber criminals?

We need to invest more in technical skills at grassroots level and in getting cyber security taken more seriously at board level. Fortunately, the latter part of the equation is now becoming a reality, which is driving government and business investment in skills and training.

Everyone seems to group all cyber crime under one umbrella, whereas there are many different types and levels. How do we educate the market on this?

We’ve tried to segment our expert speaking content to address the various threat vectors across the IT infrastructure; we feel that the old-school approach of running a business track and a technical track is outmoded and that industry conferences like ours must work harder to speak delegates’ language.

Do you think we are set up, globally, to police cyber crime effectively?

We’re seeing much more international cooperation and intelligence sharing, which is the key to beating the criminals. For example, you’ll find CAPER exhibiting with us this year, which is an EU-led consortium sharing knowledge to fight organised cyber criminals.

There is currently a skills shortage in security when it comes to cyber, what needs to happen to fix this?

The renewed focus on teaching coding in schools will be the game-changer in the medium term, but in the short-term business and government must invest more in training their existing employees. The industry is responding with a range of high-quality training and development schemes and we are proud to be working with professional development organisations such as ISACA and (ISC) ² in launching Cyber Security EXPO.

Is cyber security an issue for IT Teams or Security Teams? How do you combine the two sides?

We hear of a slight “ivory tower” mentality from cyber teams in large enterprises, but the truth is that IT and security need to work together, especially as new cloud-based and mobile enterprise projects are rolled out. In the mid-market, the security and IT teams tend to be one and the same, so our event enables them to specify security solutions upfront, rather than as a bolt-on afterthought.

What is the live open source security lab at the Cyber Security Expo all about?

The Cyber Hack feature is a bit of fun for delegates and a theatrical environment where white-hats can show off their chops. There’s a serious message, though, and we intend to open people’s eyes to some of the threats that perhaps they hadn’t considered.

Can you expand on the SDN conference lined up for the event and what visitors can expect?

The so-called Software-Defined Data Centre is a huge change in core Network-Compute-Storage infrastructure, taking the promise of virtualisation to its logical conclusion. For security professionals, the opportunity to apply Gold Image best practice across the core technology stack will be a compelling proposition – let’s see how this translates into reality!


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