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11 April 2022

US president Joe Biden’s cyber security chiefs to attend CyberUK summit

Influential figures across government and industry are set to meet next month at Britain's flagship cyber security conference.

By Harry Clarke-Ezzidio

Cyber security experts from the UK and US will meet tech leaders across the world next month at CyberUK, the UK government’s flagship cyber security conference.

Over 1,500 attendees across industry, academia and government are expected at this year’s event, to be held between 10-11 May at the ICC in Newport, Wales. Next month’s conference will be the first to be held in-person in the two years since the pandemic hit.

Why CyberUK matters: Organised by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), which is part of the surveillance agency GCHQ, CyberUK brings together sector leaders and high-profile figures across industry and government to discuss key national and international security concerns in the digital age.

Lindy Cameron, CEO of the NCSC, promises the event will bring “two days of vibrant discussion, debate and displays of cutting-edge tech”. The summit also aims to increase Britain’s influence and positioning in the cybersecurity space – to be seen as a leader in the battle against hostile actors online.

Who’s speaking? Some pretty big names are set to take the stage at this year’s summit. Two of US president Joe Biden’s top advisors on cyber threats – Jen Easterly, director of the U.S. Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and Rob Joyce, director of Cybersecurity at the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) – will be speaking.

Key figures from Britain’s cybersecurity efforts are also set to appear. Steve Barclay MP, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Sir Jeremy Fleming, director of GCHQ and NCSC’s Lindy Cameron will join industry leaders from across the world to discuss the most pressing online threats facing governments, businesses and citizens.

The agenda: The overarching theme of this year’s conference is “Cyber Security for the Whole of Society”, with the summit’s events set to “feature content of interest to cyber security leaders and professionals, risk owners, and interested citizens”, said the NCSC. Under the umbrella theme, the event’s content will be delivered via four distinct streams of activity: resilience and tackling the threat; technology and the ecosystem; local to global leadership and interactive workshops.

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Here’s what’s at stake: The threats posed to citizens and governments across the world are ever-changing. Despite 2021 seeing a fall in the number of cyber-attacks made on UK businesses, more organisations than ever before (77 per cent) now list cyber security as a high priority, according to the government’s latest cyber security breaches survey.

The threat of cyber war in the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, which experts have warned could cause a “mutually assured destruction of systems”, highlights how threats posed online are a transnational issue that need stringent attention and action.

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