On Thursday 1 December 2016, cybersecurity experts from across the country will come together to discuss the continually evolving and growing world of cybersecurity. With a focus on bridging the gap between business users and technologists, the 2016 Asia Pacific Cyber in Business Conference is all about getting the IT back office and business coalface communicating and working together.
Thomas Alomes, general manager of the Asia Pacific Cyber in Business Conference, says "We looked at the landscape for cybersecurity education and conferences in Australia. We thought we could really make a difference by hitting the business side if it. What we want to achieve is educate business leaders that cybersecurity is a whole of business issue."
The event has a mix of speakers including industry practitioners, vendors and other experts. There are privacy experts, CISOs, legal experts and representatives from the cyber insurance business.
One of those speakers is Paul Kallenbach, a partner at Minter Ellison.
"I'm speaking on a panel on the evolving legal landscape with a focus on the proposed mandatory data breach notification scheme that is negotiating its way through parliament. This is part of a rapidly evolving legal landscape".
In addition to these new laws, that are expected to be enacted in the new year, there are changing laws in the EU as well an increased involvement by regulators such as ASIC in ensuring companies take their data protection obligations seriously and the government's new cybersecurity strategy.
The interplay between digital transformation and the risks of cybersecurity issues is also an important focus for the event. This covers everything from new tools to the emerging importance of IoT.
"We've got a session on communicating cyber to boards. The subtitle is 'How to teach and how to listen'," says Alomes. "Bridging that communications divide is very important".
One of the issues Alomes notes is the level of conversation around cyber risks is still not very mature in Australia. Following recent trips overseas and discussions with others in the field, he says there's a still something of a "head in the sand" attitude here or, in other cases, a major overreaction.
As well as speaking at the conference, Kallenbach will be an enthusiastic attendee.
"For me it's a nice segue. I've just spent a week on a cyber security trade mission to Israel, talking to Israeli start-ups and established companies. It will be interesting to compare the lessons learned over there with what's happening here."
He says there is also a recognition that cyber is not just a technology issue.
"It is a people and process issue and how do we move from seeing it as an IT problem to embedding it as a culture of cybersecurity. That's something I see coming though as a theme of the conference".
The event is not purely focussed on the big end of town. Alomes says there is benefit in attending for businesses of all sizes. While many of the speakers come from large companies, he notes the speakers from the banking sector have extensive experience with small business. The health and security panel includes a representative from the Australian Dental Association as well as a major health insurer.
As well as speaking at Cyber in Business, Kallenbach will be an enthusiastic attendee. He says his decision to speak at this year's inaugural event was driven by the event organisers' clear investment in the event. The calibre of speakers and the organisations represented was a big drawcard, he says.
The agenda includes keynote addresses from ANZ Bank, Cisco Networks, Optus and Australia Post. There will be panel sessions covering education, Digital, Media and Online Businesses, and Financial Services with speakers from major banks, Data 61, Newscorp, Seek, Medibank Private and many other major companies.