Public Sector Cyber Security Conference 2017: Defending the Public from Cyber-Attacks

Time: 09:00 - 17:00

Venue: Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester

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“No longer the stuff of spy thrillers and action movies, cyber-attacks are a reality and they are happening now. Any modern state cannot remain secure and prosperous without securing itself in cyberspace.” - Ben Gummer, Cabinet Office Minister

The 17 largest Government departments recorded a combined 8,995 data breaches between 2014 and 2015. Launching the new National Cyber Security Strategy in November 2016, Chancellor Philip Hammond pledged £1.9 billion of investment to deter attacks and strengthen the Government’s digital defences. The new National Cyber Security Centre has been tasked with bringing the UK’s digital expertise together to rethink the way the country deals with online threats. Despite this progress, the National Audit Office has raised major concerns about the cost effectiveness of Government IT security and questioned the readiness of the public sector to resist a serious attack.

Join us for the Public Sector Cyber Security Conference where leading experts will explain how to protect the vital services provided by central Government, local councils and the NHS. Learn how to safeguard sensitive data such as medical records and keep IT systems safe from cyber-attacks by states, criminal gangs and cyber terrorists.

Why attend?

  • Benefit from insights into the latest developments in public sector cyber security and what the Government’s £1.9 billion National Cyber Security Strategy could mean for your organisation.
  • Have your questions answered by leading IT and cyber security experts.
  • Learn from examples of best practice and see how pioneering IT managers are safeguarding their systems against malicious attacks.
  • Connect with other high quality delegates from across the technology sector, local government, the NHS and more.
  • Plan ahead to ensure that your organisation is protected against the cyber threats of the future.

The Public Sector Cyber Security Conference boasts a variety of outstanding speakers from across public sector and IT security. Each one has been handpicked based on their experience and professional background to ensure that all delegates benefit from relevant, high-quality presentations. Expect speakers to cover a wide variety of topics including:

Assessing the current threat: GCHQ dealt with 200 “cyber national” security incidents per month in 2015, up from 100 per month in 2014. Additional reports suggest that 40% of malware attacks in the UK are made against public sector institutions. In a highly critical report, the National Audit Office cited the “limited oversight” across different Government IT departments and described the existing process for reporting breaches as “chaotic”. A number of high profile cyber-attacks against banks, communications companies and broadcasters in 2016 have highlighted the very real threat posed by individual hackers, cyber terrorists and hostile states. What is the current state of the UK Government’s cyber security and which issues need to be addressed most urgently?

New funding: In light of this growing threat, Chancellor Philip Hammond’s announcement of the £1.9 billion investment looks set to change the face of public sector cyber security. Outlining the strategy for the next 5 years, the Chancellor stressed the need to “keep up with the scale and pace of the threats we face.” The three pronged approach will focus on “defending” through the use of automated defence techniques, “deterring” would be attackers by toughening laws and “developing” world leading technology to protect vulnerable IT systems. How will this new funding help transform cyber security within the UK’s public sector and what opportunities does it present for your organisation?

Protecting sensitive NHS data: The NHS holds vast amounts of highly sensitive and potentially valuable data, making it a prime target for cyber-crime. Commentators have raised serious concerns about underinvestment in cyber security by individual NHS trusts. Explaining the specific threat hackers pose to the health service, Government Minister Ben Gummer said: “the NHS holds large quantities of sensitive data and provides online services relied on by the whole country.” How vulnerable is the NHS to cyber-attacks and what implication could this have for patient safety?

Safer sharing: Among the many provisions of the Government’s Digital Economy Bill is a proposal to encourage different public sector bodies to share more information. The advent of big data and the internet of things provide an excellent opportunity to match services to demand while mobile tech and cloud storage are helping to make services more efficient and responsive. How can the public sector make the most of these new technologies without compromising on digital safety?

Working together: The Government’s new cyber security strategy aims to make the UK the safest place in the world to do business. This will require strong collaboration between the private and public sectors in terms of research and development of cyber security technology and software. Encouraging innovative new start-ups as well as supporting established firms will be essential to ensuring the country’s digital defences remain one step ahead of the hackers. What are the barriers preventing closer working partnerships between the public and private sector and how can these be overcome?

Speakers inlcude:

  • Ian Bryant, Branch Chief for Information and info-cyber Systems Protection Policy, Ministry of Defence
  • Dr Ali Dehghantanha, Lecturer in Cyber Security and Forensics, University of Salford
  • Vanessa Smith, Detective Chief Inspector, Cyber Security Lead, Regional Cyber Crime Unit – Yorkshire and Humber
  • Dan Taylor, Head of Cyber Security, NHS Digital {invited}
  • Professor Nick Jennings CB, FREng, Vice-Provost {Research} at Imperial College London {invited}