Public Sector Cyber Security Northern Ireland 2023

Holyrood Connect’s popular Public Sector Cyber Security Northern Ireland event returned to Belfast for another year in January 2023. The 5th annual Cyber Security Northern Ireland conference once again acted as the premier event for public sector cyber security professionals in Northern Ireland and surrounding areas.

As always, the event provided delegates with the opportunity to hear the latest developments around cyber security and hot topics within the sector, as well as network with leading figures, peers, and industry representatives. Throughout the day, audience members were able to include their own voices in the discussion through Question & Answer portions. Sessions of a variety of formats, including panel discussions, case studies, and plenary presentations, delved into elements such as:

  • The current landscape of cyber security within Northern Ireland, specifically its public sector, and the most recent iteration of threats and risks endangering organisations’ services, data, and products.
  • Examples of fellow public sector organisations who have experience in reacting to and recovering from successful cyber-attacks or close calls.
  • The importance of cyber resilience as well as crucial resources needed for collaboration within the Northern Irish public sector such as GovAssure and Cyber Essentials.
  • The critical need for continued development and increased investment toward closing the cyber skills gap.
  • Exploration of the latest innovations within cyber tech and its role in future-proofing organisations’ cyber security measures.

Holyrood Connect 

Holyrood Connect publishes leading Public Sector ICT news in Scotland and hosts renowned Public Sector Tech events & conferences. You can view all of Holyrood Connect’s upcoming events here.

With cyber-attacks against public sector organisations continuing at a rapid pace, it is vital for professionals to understand the latest threats and the current state of the landscape within Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom at large. This opening session will see leading figures within cyber security present on the newest developments around cyber threats and reflections of where Northern Ireland sits within the larger cyber security environment and leadership responsibilities for cyber security. Delegates will have the opportunity to ask these experts questions after their presentations in a short audience Q&A, led by our event Chair.

Delegates will choose one of the following to attend

Breakout A: From Belfast to Belarus – When Ransomware Gets Serious - Sponsored by Sophos

We all know that ransomware is the biggest threat in cybersecurity right now, but just how bad can things get and what is the best way to keep your organisation secure?

Do you need to add more tools to your arsenal or can you make better use of the products you already have – join this session to find out… 

Breakout B: Cyber acronyms are no defense from Ransomware. Let's talk strategy. - Sponsored by Check Point Software Technologies

Public Sector is seeing a 90% increase in highly disruptive ransomware attacks with Public Cloud, Email, Application Vulnerabilities and Supply Chain driving cyber risk to unprecedented levels. Check Points, Chief Information Security Officer, Deryck Mitchelson, will share strategies and solutions for delivering secure digital transformation whilst preventing your next ransomware and data breach.

Delegates will choose one of the following to attend

Breakout C - Cyber Crime in Real Time: Learn to Outsmart Cyber Criminals through Interactive Exercises  - Sponsored by PSNI

Join local Cyber Protect Officer Sam Kinkaid and colleagues from the Cyber Crime Centre at this year's Public Sector Cyber Security Northern Ireland as they present two tabletop exercises: Cyber Escape Room and Decisions & Disruptions; both used by the Cyber Protect Network across the UK.

Cyber Escape Room will have you step into the shoes of a cyber detective and race against the 30-minute clock to solve the case. The Police Escape Room aims to introduce end users to common cyber threats whilst testing your knowledge and problem-solving skills.

Decisions & Distruptions will have you join the board of directors at a newly acquired utility company and work with your team to manage your response to network intrusions, malware, and physical security attacks.

Breakout D - Shouldn’t all Users Have the Benefit of Zero Trust Network Access? - Sponsored by Fortinet

Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) as a technology has been well received but all too often it is associated exclusively with remote users, creating a growing divide between on- and off-premises users. As a more secure alternative to a Virtual Private Network (VPN) for accessing applications, ZTNA should be available to all users, all of the time, regardless of where or how they access the network. This session will focus on how to provide the benefits of ZTNA to all users, sometimes referred to as Universal ZTNA, as organisations work to support a secure Work From Anywhere environment.

As important as understanding the latest threats, recognising that attacks can occur regardless of an organisation’s readiness is equally as critical. There is a strength found in hearing the experiences of fellow public sector organisations, and learning lessons from peers so as to strengthen the sector as a whole in the future. This session will spotlight a series of case studies of successful cyber-attacks or close calls, and the organisations’ responses and recovery since then. 

3 Case Studies – 20 minutes each including Q&A

What can be done in the current landscape of cyber security if threats are evolving so quickly and even the greatest preparation does not guarantee absolute safety from attack? This session will bring together a panel of experts to discuss the value of proactive security strategies, and the importance placed on cyber resilience. Within this hour, the panellists will also discuss the status of GovAssure, and the role of Cyber Essentials in building supply chain assurance.

The final session of Cyber Security Northern Ireland 2023 will look towards the future of sector. The event Chair will lead a panel discussion between a handful of experts on future-proofing the Northern Irish public sector’s cyber security. Topics touched on will include increased skills development as well as recent innovation within cyber security technology.

A chance to catch up with colleagues at the end of the day over a free drink or two (beer, wine and non-alcoholic options will be available).

    Event Details
    In Association with the Northern Ireland Cyber Security Centre