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The second annual Security Serious Week, sponsored by Mimecast, Netskope and Netconsent is set to start with a new conference hosted by the Department for Media Culture and Sport in London on 3 October.
The event is aimed at bringing together some of the country's brightest minds in cyber security and cover topics such as how the UK's top chief information security officers (CISOs) tackle security awareness, how to cope with the ever-changing legal landscape, and why UK companies should be thinking like hackers.
The second day of Security Serious Week sees the UK's “unsung heroes” in cyber security honoured at the Security Serious Unsung Heroes Awards ceremony in London on 4 October.
“Cyber security has never been more important and has a huge part to play in the continuity and resiliency of our country as a whole,” said Yvonne Eskenzi, director of Eskenzi PR and lead organiser of Security Serious Week.
“We want Security Serious Week to not only help make UK companies more security-savvy, but also to recognise the people who work tirelessly in the background day after day in our critical infrastructure, transport, banks, shops, universities and public services to provide an incredible service to our national safety, yet often go unnoticed,” she said.
The conference and awards programme features some of the UK's biggest cyber security leaders, such as GlaxoSmithKline CISO Robert Coles; Avtar Sehmbi, head of information security and risk management at HSBC; Publicis Groupe CISO Thom Langford; and Ian Glover, president of Crest, the not-for-profit accreditation and certification body for the technical information security industry.
“There are incredible individuals striving to keep the services we rely on safe from cyber criminals, but there simply are not enough of them and those that we have need the aptitude to maintain their capabilities in an environment where there are constant and rapid changes to threats,” said Glover.
“As an industry, we need to tackle the skills shortage head on and encourage the very best people to choose cyber security as a career path – an extremely, challenging, exciting and rewarding one. This is why initiatives such as Security Serious Week are so important in raising awareness of cyber security issues and also to promote the opportunities available,” he said.
Read more about security awareness
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The Security Serious Unsung Heroes Awards are designed to give the professionals in IT security the recognition that they deserve for going above and beyond the call of duty, and saving their organisations from the likes of hackers, malware and virus infections.
While most awards in the IT sector tend to focus on technology, these awards are aimed at honouring the individuals and teams behind the technology. With categories such as Godfather of Security, CISO Supremo, Security Leader, Mobile Mogul and Cloud Security Superhero, around 20 awards will be given on the night compered by Clive Room.
The awards have been backed by industry leaders including: Mimecast, Netskope, AlienVault, gsk, Publicis Groupe, CrowdStrike, Lastline, Proofpoint, whiteCryption, Imperva, Acumin, Eskenzi PR, Canon and Smile on Fridays.
Security Serious Week, which runs from 3 October to 7 October 2016 will also feature free webinars hosted by cyber security experts to encourage others to become more security savvy.
In 2015, more than 2,500 people participated in the 45 free webinars covering topics such as preparing for the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), social engineering and security awareness, ways to protect sensitive data, next-generation security, dealing with the shortage of cyber security skills, cyber insurance and incident response.
In 2016, the organisers are hoping to present an even greater number of free webinars, covering topics including security versus productivity, securing the human factor, and security from obscurity.