Perth’s largest congregation of information and cyber security practitioners and professionals came together at the AISA 2017 Perth Conference on 17 November. The event is recognised as the largest cybersecurity gathering, outside of Sydney and Melbourne, and is a ‘must-attend’ for cybersecurity practitioners in the State.

Held at the Crown Towers Ballroom, with record breaking attendance of over 360, there was a vast array of non-vendor and vendor-rich representation from both the private and public sectors.

In a constantly evolving digital landscape and the increased cyber risks it brings, IT professionals, business managers and executives sought to understand the latest developments in cybersecurity and how to manage its impacts across their organisations.

The conference was opened by Mr Chris Tallentire MLA, Parliamentary Secretary, and Minister for Water; Fisheries; Forestry; Innovation and ICT; Science; with key points from his address:

  • Importance of collaboration in addressing issues of risk and information security;
  • Information security has raised in profile this year, for the public, for governments and businesses alike;
  • McGowan Government’s commitment to improving cybersecurity in the Western Australian public sector;
  • Implications of online platforms being used to influence elections; and
  • Opportunity to build on the skills and experience present in Western Australia to build local information security industry.

A range of information and cyber security topics were presented including: communicating, partnering and collaborating; cyber risk and resilience; secure collaboration; securing critical infrastructure; incident response and crisis management; and legal, regulatory and mandatory reporting.

In my role as Chairman, Executive Committee, AISA Perth Chapter, I spoke to several attendees and vendors, and the common theme I came across was that collaboration starts and ends with communication. In the statement ’security is nothing without people, process and technology’, I believe the word ‘people’ is centred on the ability to communicate up, down and across the organisation, which is the essence for collaboration. This conference and other activities across the cyber security sector represents our collective endeavours to ensure security is built into the fabric of organisations, whether that be our own or our client businesses.

A panel discussion on the ‘Future of Cyber Security Disruptive Technology, Innovation, Regulation and Collaboration’ moderated by Richard Addiscott, Director, IT Planning, Governance and Security at Curtin University had lively interaction from the panel and the crowd! The panel debated:

Disruptive Technology – how will Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning impact the future for cybersecurity professionals?

Innovation – Bitcoin and Internet of Things are two successful innovations, how can we embrace innovation and not been perceived as slowing things down? One mechanism could be embedding cybersecurity from the outset.

Regulation – Australia’s planned decryption law, where does it start, where does it stop, and the impacts on the cyber industry and businesses alike.

Collaboration – How do we address responsibilities for due diligence in cyber? Who is responsible for preventive measure and who should be responsible for reactive measure in Western Australia?

The Executive Round Table was another stream that I was also able to sit in on. This session consisted of business leaders across multiple industries and sectors, and discussion pinpointed:

  • Effective planning and management of business security processes and resilience so in the event of a crisis, the measures implemented would be fundamental to an organisation’s post incident survival.
  • Cybersecurity risks and the associated loss are often difficult to quantify and are no longer the problem of the IT department alone; it’s now become a whole of organisation approach that needs to be driven from the very top.
  • Know your risks, completely understand your business; securing your business is centred on a deep understanding of your business risks, and entwining cybersecurity into the fabric of your operations.
  • The converging of IT and OT networks presents a number of cultural challenges, and will require well considered business planning and organisational change.

While it may not be feasible to be 100% secure from a cyber-attack, there are a number of measures companies can take to:

  1. Reduce the risk of an attack occurring
  2. Minimise the consequences of a potential attack
  3. Recover quickly should a breach occur

To sum it up, in today’s new world technology landscape, cyber security does not lay solely with IT rather it is a whole of organisation approach that will minimise business risk.

Some of the podcasts from the Conference will be made available, register your interest to be notified.

For more information on the AISA Conference or Titan ICT’s Technology Risk solutions, email me or call +618 6145 2222.