Infosecurity Europe 2014: Experts Highlight Potential for Security as a Business Enabler as Show Attracts more than 15,000 Unique Industry Professionals

Greater collaboration is essential to preventing ‘cyber-war’ keynote speakers’ claim

At this year’s Infosecurity Europe conference and exhibition, senior figures from both government and industry have called for greater collaboration on how security intelligence is shared, in order to protect against cyber-attacks and ensure that security insight spreads beyond IT teams to affect boardroom decisions.

During this year’s Infosecurity Europe 2014, held at London’s Earls Court, keynote speakers including the FBI and Troels Oerting, head of the European Cybercrime Centre, highlighted the threat that security breaches now present to global economies, adding that stronger collaboration is needed to prevent ‘cyber-war’.

The UK government used the show to announce its intentions at improving this collaboration, with Universities and Science minister David Willetts pledging that investment in cyber security exports will rise to £2bn by 2016 during his keynote speech.

In addition to this, the Airbus Group provided details of a huge research project that will help both institutions uncover and control vulnerabilities within critical infrastructures such as water, transportation networks and banking systems.

However a research report, released in April by Infosecurity Europe, highlighted how far such measures have to go, with 68 per cent of information security professionals declaring that intelligence is not shared effectively between government and industry.

“What this year’s conference proved is that security professionals cannot sit outside the boardroom anymore,” said Joy-Fleur Brettschneider, group marketing manager at Infosecurity Europe at Reed Exhibitions. “The results of a breach do not just affect IT but the whole business; in fact as some of our delegates have claimed, it can even result in bankruptcy.”

The show, which attracted 15,253 (pre ABC Audit) unique industry professionals from 73 countries across the three days, saw a number of important topics discussed in the Keynote Theatre. These included debates on the future-proofing of information and rethinking information security education strategies that will engage Generation Y.

In spite of industrial tube strike action planned by the RMT during the event, this year saw an increase in visitor attendance from director level executives responsible for IT decision-making, as well as IS/IT managers and industry analysts. A total of 345 exhibitors from 24 countries showcased their latest information security innovations, 78 of which were new exhibitors for 2014.

“This year’s Security as a Business Enabler theme brought together some of the information security industry’s leading voices to educate and inform a growing base of exhibitors from around the world,” commented Claire Sellick, group director for the Infosecurity Group at Reed Exhibitions. “Businesses are under constant pressure to evolve amid ever-changing challenges to their information security strategies so we are thrilled that the show has been able to provide these enterprises with a first-rate Education Programme, as well as a strong platform to launch and showcase their technology.”

Brian Honan, CEO and founder of BH Consulting: “Security has traditionally been seen as an IT problem, which can be fixed by technology. What we’re seeing now is businesses and boards are recognising security as a business problem, meaning that it needs the input of people who understand how the business operates in order to keep things secure.”

Next year, Infosecurity Europe will be celebrating its 20th year with a change in date and venue – the show will take place at London Olympia from 2nd to 4th June 2015.

Other experts commented on the report

Nigel Wilson, principal security architect at AT&T: “Security is a process, not just a product or technology issue. The primary purpose of creating a security architecture is to ensure that business strategy and IT security are aligned. As such, the security architecture allows traceability from the business strategy down to the underlying technology.

David Cass, senior vice president and chief information security officer at Elsevier: “The way organisations and people work today has dramatically changed. Social, Mobile, and Cloud require us to change the way that we practice information security. Having a long-term vision that take these changes into account and align with the business strategy is critical. This is the foundation in making security a business enabler.”

Drew Amorosi, deputy editor of Infosecurity magazine: “In today’s world, amid the rapid changes of technology, infosecurity and IT people cannot say ‘no’ any more. They have to figure out how new technologies in the workplace can be incorporated, rather than blocked, and in so doing they will help workers to achieve their goals.”

Peter Wood, security advisor at ISACA London Chapter: “We want to encourage security professionals to become evangelists and business analysts, who understand what their employees are trying to do. Use security to come up with new ways to help the business move forward.”

The full report, ‘Information security: From business barrier to business enabler’, is available to download here

Infosecurity Europe 2015 will be held at Olympia London from 2 – 4 June 2015.

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