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BristolCyberCon: Paige’s Key Takeaways

The very first BristolCyberCon catered for cybersecurity professionals, enthusiasts, software engineers, cyber newbies, students, the Bristol and Bath cyber community and anyone who has an interest in security. With its leading lineup of expert speakers, fun workshops and hackathons, we’re hugely proud that we got to be part of such a forward-thinking and brilliant event as sponsors.

I’m Paige, our Cyber Security specialist as part of ADLIB’s Tech Recruitment team. Here, my highlights and key takeaways, for anyone who missed out or who’d like to revisit the event:

1.From a talent attraction perspective – “hiring people with the right mindset is more valuable than knowledge”. A really great quote from Kevin Fielder’s (Chief Information Security Officer at Just Eat) talk and it’s true. The cybersecurity skills gap is real and it’s getting bigger.

Organisations are putting too much emphasis on looking for specific skills and certifications and often disregarding smart people who have security focussed mindsets – businesses need to be realistic in their expectations. A report from (ISC)² on the skills shortage revealed that the global cyber security skills gap is at almost three million and that 63% of businesses are lacking the cybersecurity skills to keep threats at bay!

2.Automation within security is key. Threats are constantly developing and at such a quick pace that the only way to deal with them is through automation. It allows organisations to identify new and existing threats fast and allows them to make quick decisions to mitigate them. A popular tool for security automation is Splunk, it enables you to work faster and smarter and perform actions across security infrastructure in seconds as opposed to hours if you performed this manually.

3.Cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility so it’s important to create a security culture across the business so that everyone is aware, involved and knowledgeable. You must work with your team and sell them the advantages of working in a secure way especially when this is a new way of thinking for so many of the workforce. Jonathan Kidd (CISO at Hargreaves Lansdown) explained during his talk that they have introduced ‘Cyber Security Champions’ across the business as a way to promote a security culture and help reduce cyber threats.

Immersive Labs are doing incredible things within the cyber industry and are providing a unique approach to cyber skills development. Their platform has hundreds of gamified labs that are based on real-life scenarios and real-time content is rolled out as soon as new threats emerge. It is designed to reduce learning time meaning your security team will be ready to respond to the latest threats quicker.

4.IoT (internet of things) security implications are rising.  Statista predicts that the total number of connected devices will reach nearly 27 billion by the end of this year, and 75 billion by 2025. While this is a great opportunity for organisations to deliver a more relevant experience to customers, it also presents more opportunity for vulnerabilities. It is down to businesses to ensure they have enough talented individuals on board to minimise that risk. (Source)

Overall, I thought it was a great day and a really successful event. An insightful and engaging way to bring cyber community together. Shout out Bristol and Bath Cyber and TechSpark for the amazing event – looking forward to the next one already.

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