Infosecurity Europe Conference; The edge of the computing iceberg for cyber-security

Recently PAC had the opportunity to attend the Infosecurity Europe conference in London. This has been the first time the event has been held since 2019 due to the impact of the global pandemic, and it was great being back at an in-person cyber-security conference. Regarding the conference's overall theme, Nicole Mills (the exhibition director) commented, “The theme we selected for Infosecurity Europe 2022 was ‘Stronger Together’, and we’ve seen this philosophy brought to life countless times over the last three days. The cybersecurity industry must become more collaborative in its efforts to keep society safe and secure.” PAC would concur with the sentiment of this comment because as society readjusts after the economic and cultural shock of the pandemic, it is evident that the role of cyber-security in our personal and professional lives is more integral than ever. The event had many powerful sessions where speakers covered technical and societal dimensions of cyber-security. However, the global pandemic accelerated a greater decentralisation of technology services and how they are sourced and consumed by employees, customers, clients, and citizens.

The cyber-security parameter of organisations and individuals, driven by the demands of digital services, has been irrevocably changed, fragmented, and continues to become further decentralised. At the heart of this is the growth of multi and hybrid cloud service consumption, API-driven internal and external services, edge computing, 5G network capabilities, and the ever-growing use of artificial intelligence (AI) to drive data insight. New technology architectural approaches are being born from this, for example, in the form of zero-trust, secure access service edge, and cyber-security mesh architectures. However, despite all potential points of technology weakness, an organisation's employees are still the biggest cyber-security weakness, whether their actions are intentional or accidental. Sectors with a cornucopia of data on customers, clients, and citizens understandably continue to be prime hacking targets by state, corporate, or independent bad actors.

From the conversations PAC had with vendors at the conference and observing the range of stands, it is clear the industry is still understandably focused heavily on areas like identity and access management, endpoint protection, antimalware, intrusion prevention and detection and data loss prevention. However, areas such as security-as-a-service, usage of multi-hop AI across multi-clouds, and securing the edge for multi-cloud are still areas of growth opportunity. The challenge faced by organisations not directly addressed at the conference is how hard it is to hire talent in this space, whatever the sector, from retail, healthcare, and government to banking, the ability to hire cyber-security talent to address the threat profiles derived from the use of edge computing, AI, and multi-cloud is currently a real challenge.

In discussions with vendors at the event, PAC wanted to get their perspective regarding how they see the preference for ‘as-a-service’ style consumption models impacting the cyber-security industry. As the conference was understandably solution-focused, given the vendors in attendance, there was less focus this year on how cyber-security may become consumed through the ‘as-a-service’ model, as has occurred with other segments of the tech stack. The vendors' experiences attending the event said their client base is still focused on cyber-security solutions for specific needs. PAC had some fascinating discussions with a selection of vendors covering a broad range of cyber-security solutions at the conference. So PAC would like to particularly thank the teams, and those who helped arrange the sessions, from ColorTokens, Darktrace, ExtraHop, F5, HelpSystems, ServiceNow, and Versa Networks. It is always great to get a chance to walk a conference floor and see what the common themes are across an industry. This event was a great opportunity to achieve this, and PAC looks forward to the opportunity to do it again in-person next year.