Bringing the latest in security thought leadership and solutions to the cyber ecosystem
In association with Renaissance
Renaissance’s Cyber Expo & Conference Ireland is set to return as an in-person event for the first time in two years.
Taking place 28 April, the event aims to bring together the whole cyber ecosystem – exhibiting vendors, resellers, end users, IT experts and business thought leaders looking to understand what they can do to mitigate security risks to their business.
According to estimates from Cybersecurity Ventures, a cyber-attack hit every 11 seconds in 2021. These attacks target everything from critical national infrastructure to business data. As the volume of attacks has grown significantly throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, many businesses are eager to strengthen their security approach to further protect themselves.
In this increasingly volatile environment, an event like Renaissance’s, which was designed to demystify cyber-security and help organisations stay up to date with the latest trends, has never been more essential.
For those looking to build a resilient cyber-security strategy, the day-long event gives end-users, executive decision-makers and Value Added Resellers (VARs) the opportunity to talk directly to cyber-security providers to find solutions that are right for them.
Running from 08:00 to 17:00, the event encompasses both CyberExpoIreland – an exhibition that gives attendees a chance to meet experts, learn about solutions, and chat to security vendors – and CyberConIreland -which involves presentations and breakout sessions on current cyber-security protections.
As part of the exhibition, vendors, VARs, security experts and other members of the security industry will be on the floor to deliver one-to-one expert advice to attendees. Exhibitors at the event will include Armis, Actionpoint, Cara, Censornet, DNA IT, HornetSecurity, Immersive Labs, Integrity360, Sophos, WatchGuard, and Zyxel Networks.
Strengthen and educate
While Renaissance is an IT distributor, not an exhibition organiser, the event fits in line with the company’s aim – to strengthen and educate the Irish IT channel.
“We bring cyber-security and compliance technology to the island of Ireland,” says Michael Conway, director, Renaissance. “Organising exhibitions is not what we do per say, but we created this event to bring the members of the cyber ecosystem under one roof and to fill a gap in the market. There are trade forums and end user conferences, but we wanted somewhere for MSPs to see the totality of the technologies that are out there.”
The Cyber Expo & Conference has been a staple of the annual Irish IT events calendars since it was first established in 2017. This year, the event moves to its biggest venue yet at the Leopardstown Pavilion in south Dublin, which is easily accessible via the motorway and public transport.
“The bigger venue lets us deliver an even better in-person experience. Getting more space was crucial because we were driven by demand to have more breakout sessions, more exhibitors, and more vendors.”
That the event is inclusive and free to attend was also important to Conway: “Nobody pays to attend, anybody can walk in and learn something, whether they’re students, members of the trade, end users, or academics.”
After two years of webinars, attendees will be forgiven if they are a little rusty when it comes to navigating an event of this sort. Conway advises attendees to embrace networking: “If you’re looking the get the most out of the day, I highly recommend you talk to people. Tell them who you are and what problems you’re facing. They’re there to help you determine how to solve them.
“You can also come up to myself or a member of the Renaissance team and we’ll try to point you in the right direction. Have a cup of tea, a biscuit, and a chat about cyber. That’s what it’s all about.”
In fact, the event was designed with networking in mind: “The whole idea was to create an environment where you could go right up to a vendor and say ‘What does this technology do? How could it help me solve this problem?’ It’s not a product pitch. It’s a way for people to learn about what’s out there.
“We don’t just have vendors exhibiting. Our partners, who are based all over the country, will be exhibiting too. These people are there to talk to you about how you can take the technology you just discussed with a vendor and deploy it in your organisation.”
Conway continues: “Sometimes you go to these events and the exhibitors are sitting behind a table, looking at a laptop. At our event, there won’t be any chairs at the stands. We want people to engage with one another.”
The event has evolved somewhat since it kicked off five years ago: “We started hearing that people wanted more thought leadership, more presentations, and more learning.” This year’s event certainly ticks that box. As well as the exhibition and conference, Renaissance teamed up with ICT Skillnet to host training events designed to develop attendees’ knowledge and awareness of cyber-security.
In a 90-minute digital transformation masterclass, Prof Niall McKeown will talk his audience through the five change blocks for successful digital transformation and host a Q&A session. Designed for a non-technical audience, the session will give companies the opportunity to score their businesses’ performance in the digital economy.
ICT Skillnet will also host a game of Capture the Flag, wherein participants can engage with technical or non-technical cyber-security challenges in a collaborative and engaging way. The game will train participants to recognise and mitigate exposure to potential threats, while evaluating their knowledge and competency, both individually, and as a team.
Kicking off at 09:00, keynote speaker Paul C Dwyer, president of the ICTTF International Cyber Threat Task Force, will deliver an address on EU Cyber Strategy and the opportunities it presents to Ireland.
In the afternoon, Renaissance and ICTTF will host a National Cyber Security Discussion, creating an interactive forum that will seek opinions on Ireland’s cyber status and explore initiatives that could help bolster Ireland’s cyber-resilience. Hosted by Paul C Dwyer, the discussion will begin with an opening speech from Senator Gerard Craughwell, in which he will outline his opinions, concerns and ideas in relation to cyber-security in Ireland.
“We have a number of international groups flying in for the panel discussion,” adds Conway. “It will be great to hear their insights into how Ireland can make itself more cyber-secure.”
Analysis and advice
There will be eight streams in this year’s conference focused on topics relevant to the current threat landscape. Each stream will provide a mix of cases studies and live panel discussions to give the best analysis and advice to attendees.
The global cyber-security ecosystem has undergone significant changes since the last in-person Cyber Expo & Conference took place in 2019. The eight streams are reflective of the threats organisations face today, and how they can protect themselves.
- Always-on computing: As computing becomes more sophisticated, always-on systems have started to replace older on-demand systems. These new systems are continuously available, plugged in, or connected to power sources and networks. This stream will provide an insight into the impact of always-on technology
- Application security: Referring to security measures taken within an application to stop its data or code being taken or hijacked, the application security stream will consider the hardware, software or processes that determine and diminish security weaknesses
- Business Email Compromise (BEC): As most business communication is still conducted over email, implementing email security protection for an email domain is an important and necessary part of a modern cyber-security strategy
- Complementing the Microsoft security stack: This stream will show participants how they can improve their cyber-security stance by making some simple changes to system configuration and business practices
- Compliance and third-party risk management: This stream will provide insight into planning a cyber-security strategy and highlight the importance of the hygiene of an organisation in relation to its cyber-safety
- Cyber-security in healthcare: In the wake of the attack on the HSE, this stream will include a discussion on the state of cyber-security in healthcare both in Ireland and internationally. It will also highlight why healthcare is specifically vulnerable and targeted, and how to mitigate threats in affordable ways
- Identity & rights management: One of the most challenging areas of security, this stream will focus on information security policies, target operating models, assessing risk for access management, implementing IT controls and business education & awareness
- Operational technology (OT) cyber-security: In recent years, securing OT technology has become more important due to the considerable advancements and convergences with technology. This stream will explore this theme in greater detail
“We’re covering all aspects of cyber-security,” continues Conway, “from very specialist technical discussions to non-technical and interactive events. We’ve worked to ensure everyone who attends will learn something valuable, whatever their skill level may be.”
The Cyber Expo & Conference Ireland will take place at the Leopardstown Pavilion, Dublin. The event is free to attend. To register, please visit cyberexpoireland.ie