Packed programme for this year’s #CyberFest

THE North East’s largest cyber festival returns in September.

#CyberFest22, delivered by regional tech network Dynamo in partnership with global professional services company Accenture, business and IT consultancy Waterstons and the Innovation SuperNetwork, will incorporate a series of events and workshops.

Now in its fifth year #CyberFest aims is to highlight the breadth of talent in the regional cyber security sector. All of this year’s events are in-person and events are being held across the region – including in Durham, Darlington, Sedgefield, Hexham, Newcastle and Wallsend.

Phil Jackman, Dynamo Cyber Security Lead and one of the organisers of #CyberFest, said: “Cyber security continues to be an existential threat to businesses and if anything grew during the Covid pandemic as so many more companies move activities online.

“But with challenges come opportunities and it’s important for the region that we understand both in order to expand our expertise.

“#CyberFest continues to grow – last year was the biggest in terms of events and numbers of registrations. This year we have the same sort of numbers of events, but we’re aiming at specific audiences rather than volume.”

This year’s opening event, BSide Newcastle is an information security conference held at The Catalyst – Helix, Newcastle between September 1 and 3. BSide Newcastle will also be online. The last events will be a session on Staying Safe From Online Threats, held at Priors Hall, Hexham Abbey on Tuesday, September 27 (4.30pm to 6.30pm) and a Season Finale, a celebratory event to be held at a venue to be confirmed on Thursday, September 29 (6pm to 8pm).

This year’s programme also includes:

• September 6, 10am to 3pm – Innovation is The Best Form of Defence. This event will be at Durham University’s Mathematics Sciences and Computer Science Building, and confirmed speakers include Phil Jackman; Michael Stirrup, CEO Waterstons; Igor Kotsiuba, Durham University; Stewart Hogg, Waterstons; Richard Snell, Celerity, and Dr Meera Sarma, Cystel.

• September 8, 11am to 3pm – Online Fraud is a Crime. This session will be held at the Centre for Professional and Executive Development, Teesside University’s Darlington Campus. Confirmed speakers include: Martin Wilson, Head of Cyber and Innovation at North East Business Resilience Centre and Joe Cockcroft, NEBRC.

• September 13, 5.30pm to 7.30pm – Improving Patient Outcomes Through Secure HealthTech. This event will be held at North East Futures UTC in Newcastle and confirmed speakers include Hermina Ely, Dynamo North East and Alex Craig, Muckle.

• September 14, 11.30am to 1pm – Developing the Cyber Security Innovation Delivery Partnership. Held at Maritime House, Port of Tyne, Tyne Dock, South Shields, speakers at this event will include: Dinah Jackson, NELEP; Eldon Jobe, Melius Cyber; Debra Cairns, Net Defence and Annabel Berry, Sapphire.

• September 14, 4pm to 6pm – Protecting My Small Business In An Online World. This session will take place at Aspire’s new HQ on Pipewell Quay, Gateshead, and confirmed speakers include: Reshma Begun, FSB and John Baty, Cheviot Insured. Danielle Phillips, from Insideout Consulting, will also lead a workshop.

• September 14/15 – Crafty Cyber Eyes Wide Open. These sessions, held at Middlesbrough Town Hall (14th) and Northumbria University (15th) will be part of Creative Fuse’s annual conference.

• September 15, 9.30am to 11am – Managing Cyber Security Risk in The Space Market. This session, held at NetPark in Sedgefield, will feature speakers including Phil Jackman; Elaine Scott of Business Durham; Mark David of Business Durham; Jone Bone, RHEA Group and Iam Gemski, of Tekgem (UK).

• September 20, 8.30am to 10.30am – Simple Steps to Protect Your Business In An Online World. Confirmed speakers at this session at Stellium Data Centre, Cobalt, Wallsend, include: Andrew Fisk, Fisk Consulting; Danille Phillips, InsideOut Consulting and Rachael Allen, of Stellium.

• September 21, time to be confirmed – Businesses Have An Ethical Responsibility To BE Secure Online. This session will be hosted at Brewin Dolphin, Newcastle, and confirmed speakers include: David Horn, CyberWhite; Gavin Clarke, Emmanuel College and Caroline Theobald, NIBE

• September 22, 3pm to 5pm – Cyber Security For Finance Directors: The Cost To Business. Held at Waterstons in Durham, this session’s confirmed speakers include: Michael Stirrup, Waterstons; David Stroud, Nanolock; Stewart Hogg, Waterstons; Edwin Bartlett, HIComply.

Phil added: “I’m proud of the programme we’ve put together – we’ve tried to accommodate everyone, from schoool students, technicians, artists and business people across the whole region.

“I’d like to thank our main sponsors Waterstons and Accenture as well as supporters of our individual events – ISC2 North East Chapter, Digital City, North East Initiative on Business Ethics, Advance Northumberland and Business Northumberland.”

Stewart Hogg, Associate Director – Cyber at Waterstons, added: “In an ever-changing digital world, cyber resilience has never been more important. Coming together to collaborate on cyber best practice is key to helping businesses of all sectors across the North East and beyond understand the challenges and risks faced. But it also ensures they are equipped to protect, detect and respond to a potential cyber incident.”

All #CyberFest events are free to attend.

Phil leads on Dynamo’s cyber resilience cluster, which is supported by Accenture, and aims to champion the region’s cyber-security and resilience sector; work with universities to develop increase cyber research and development; enhance skills in the sector and to work with law enforcement and other agencies to meet regional and UK-wide cyber security objectives.

#CyberFest will be delivered by Dynamo as part of the Catalysing Innovation in North East Clusters project, delivered by the Innovation SuperNetwork and part-funded by ERDF.

Dynamo is a business-led organisation with the core mission of ‘Growing the North East tech economy through collaboration, innovation, skills and noise.’ With more than 160 members, it is made up of IT organisations, large corporate employers in the region, consultants, technology hubs, education providers, local government and suppliers to the industry.

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