Last Wednesday at 4pm Cyber Wales received a request for help from NHS Wales.
We immediately sent out a CALL TO ACTION to the 2,000+ members of the Cyber Wales Ecosystem, this is what it said…
As you can imagine, the medical staff have really got their hands full at the moment but they are not the only ones. The IT staff, short-handed as they are, are up to their ears in work as well. Many of the hospitals and medical centres around Wales have just received new Desktops and Laptops which will be a massive help as they tackle the increasing demand. However, may of the contractors that they use to handle much of the basic workload, such as imaging, configuration and securing new end points have downed tools, either through being short-staffed or through unwillingness to travel.
Just to give you an idea of the scale of the problem, one hospital just took delivery of 1,000 machines and they have no-one to set them up. That is just one hospital and this situation obviously exists all over Wales (in an NHS building near you!)
So… Are any of you able and willing to lend a hand?
This could be visiting sites to set up machines or dialling into sites to set up by RDP or it could be receiving machines, setting them up and sending them back again – or any possible solutions you can think of that will achieve the same result. It could also be any bright ideas or best practice you may have been involved with (such as clever ways to set up mass PXE builds) that would help the onsite teams to do this job faster.
All hands to the pumps folks, your NHS needs you at this most trying of times. Please respond directly to Nick Lewis. I’m sure most of you know Nick from the Cluster meetings and the amazing talk he gave about cyber challenges in NHS Wales last year – well, things are even more challenging right now and he’d love to hear from you.
Within an hour Nick had received over 200 emails with offers of support from IT SysAdmins and Cyber folks from right across Wales – from Bangor to Wrexham and from Pembroke to Chepstow and all over Mid Wales. Word continued to spread and through Thursday and Friday there was a steady stream of volunteers including people from outside of Wales such as the MoD in Bristol. Other networks also picked up the call such as the DevOpsGroup and DCMS which was a huge help taking the total number of volunteers to over 400!
The Alacrity Foundation, who have a long-standing relationship with the Cyber Clusters, stepped up to the plate and helped to communicate the challenge to the NCSC i100 Network – proving the strength in depth of the collaborative networks in Wales and beyond.
This morning NHS Wales released a special Thank You message to Cyber Wales – let’s keep the momentum up folks and help the people who are trying to help us!
Congratulations to ‘CSL Rush’, a team from The Cathedral School in Llandaff, for coming 3rd in the National Finals of the NCSC’s CyberFirst Girl’s Competition 2020.
The event was hosted at Cornerstone, one of Cardiff’s newest conference centres which is also Cardiff’s oldest neo-gothic church. It was first opened in 1855 but when its Welsh-speaking Presbyterian congregation moved to join forces with another church the Heritage Lottery Fund helped the building to be re-born as a vibrant and exciting mixed-use community hub and corporate venue. The perfect backdrop for this cutting-edge technical event.
Janvi, Agnes, Iris and Bethan from Year 8 of the independent school took part in the online qualifying round against 12,000 participants and then showed stellar skills in the semi-finals and accumulated enough points to beat off nine other Welsh schools to secure themselves a place in the final.
The NCSC are working hard to get more girls interested in a career in cyber security. The CyberFirst Girls Competition provides a fun but challenging environment to inspire the next generation of young women. The competition is a team event, with each one made up of 4 female students from Year 8 in England and Wales, Year 9 in Northern Ireland and S2 in Scotland. The Grand Final was where the top ten teams from the regions gathered to compete for the title of CyberFirst Girls Competition Winners 2020.
It was a very close competition involving multiple streams of activities ranging from Capture the Flag hacking to robotics programming and good old-fashioned problem solving.
The proud winners were from King Edward’s School in Bath and all of the girls who took part on the day had a terrific time.
Well done to all the participants and llongyfarchiadau mawr iawn to the girls from Cathedral School for demonstrating the depth of cyber talent here in Wales.
Since 2017, Cyber Ireland have been bringing together Industry, Academia and Government to represent the needs of the Cyber Security Ecosystem in Ireland.
Their stated aims are a very close match for those of Cyber Wales, aiming to enhance the Innovation, Growth and Competitiveness of the companies and organisations which are part of their cluster.
At a Breakfast Briefing held in Welsh Government’s Dome Cymru, erected outside the iconic Customs House Quay building in Dublin, members of Cyber Wales – Dr Kerry Beynon of RDP Law and Damon Rands of Wolfberry – engaged in a series of presentations and a panel discussion with Cyber Ireland members on the importance of building a strong and collaborative Cyber Community.
The event, which formed part of Wales Week Dublin, was hosted by the Welsh Government Office in Dublin & UK Department of International Trade.
Great relationships were forged and we are all looking forward to welcoming Cyber Ireland to a Cyber Wales Cluster meeting very soon.
Newport Campus hosted the Welsh semi-final of the National Cyber Security Centre’s CyberFirst Girls Competition 2020 last Saturday.
Teams of girls aged 12 and 13 from 10 schools worked on a series of online codebreaking challenges set by industry during the event, which was one of 18 that took place simultaneously across the UK and involved almost 12,000 girls.
It was the first time a Wales-only contest – hosted at the National Cyber Security Academy (NCSA) at Newport Campus – has been held, thanks to the competition’s new regional format. The top 10 teams – including the Welsh champions – will then face off in a Grand Final in Cardiff next month.
The CyberFirst Girls Competition was launched four years ago by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) – a part of GCHQ – with the aim of boosting interest in cyber security among females, who are currently under-represented in the industry.
“We were delighted to host this competition at our Newport campus,” said Clare Johnson, USW’s Head of Cyber. “The girls worked incredibly hard all day, and it was very close at the end.
“Encouraging greater diversity in the industry is vital to ensure we can provide the best defences against ever increasing cyber attacks and events like this help inspire and encourage girls to consider a career in this field”.
In September 2018, Andrew Peaty from the MoD’s Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) came along to our Cluster meeting in the Cyber Village and explained how their no-strings-attached funding worked for companies with appropriate cyber solutions. He gave some great examples of innovative small businesses who have sold solutions into the MoD and described how to apply.
A number of companies, including Awen Collective based in Caerphilly took the time to speak with DASA and after learning more about the MoD and working out how their innovative security software solution could add value, they were awarded innovation funding to undertake an industrial cyber security project entitled “Project DOMINO”.
The funding was awarded as part of the DASA Open Call that seeks to discover innovative technologies from non traditional defence suppliers.
“As a small start-up company, the funding and support from the Ministry of Defence will help us to rapidly gear-up and provide innovative, valuable and proven industrial cyber security software to the various parts of the MoD reducing the possible disruption to military capability caused by large scale or targeted cyber-attacks” said Daniel Lewis, CEO of Awen Collective. “In addition it will advance the reach of our solutions into other sectors of critical national infrastructure (CNI) and advanced manufacturing, all facing challenges in the face of rapidly increasing cyber threats”.
The project, based on Dot software by Awen Collective, has arisen from a need not just in the MoD, but across society, where cyber-attacks on critical infrastructure such as energy, water and transportation could have catastrophic effects on people’s day-to-day lives.
The project commenced on the 1st November 2019, and will run for 12 months, culminating in an MoD evaluation of the demonstrated concept. This will lead to further exploitation within the MoD, its supply chain and Industry providers involved with CNI.
Many congratulations to Awen It is great to see successes like this come from the Cluster meetings of Cyber Wales and we all wish Dan and his team the best of luck in this exciting venture.
Thanks also to Andrew Peaty from DASA who has taken the time to come to Cluster meetings and meet Welsh companies who want to reach other markets – keep up the good work Andrew!
Tomas Lazor, a Podpraporcik, which means Warrant Officer/Investigator, from the Police Force of the Slovak Republic, came to Wales to meet with Mike Yeo, Detective Inspector of the Cyber Crime team of the Southern Wales Regional Organised Crime Unit (TARIAN).
The Slovak Police Force is growing and developing its cyber resources and whilst not being a dedicated cyber investigator himself Tomas, along with many others in the Force, is keen to learn, collaborate and do more to help cyber victims in his District of Strážske, Michalovce in the Region of Košice in Eastern Slovakia.
On a trip to the UK, which included visits to the Northampton Police, EMSOU (the East Midlands ROCU) and the London-based Police ICT Company who promote UK Police practices and technology worldwide, Tomas discussed approaches to cyber investigation and shared ideas and best practice on a range of cyber-related topics.
With a population of 5 million, Slovakia is closer to Wales in size and dynamics than to the UK as a whole and Tomas jumped at the opportunity to come to Wales and meet with the TARIAN Regional Cyber Crime Unit who have been proactive members of the Cyber Wales Ecosystem since attending the first ever South Wales Cyber Security Cluster meeting back in 2014.
He also brought with him an age-old police tradition, practiced by representatives when visiting their international counterparts. The ‘exchanging of hats‘ is widely practiced between visiting police forces and in return for the Slovakian forage cap he was given an iconic UK Police helmet complete with the cap badge of the South Wales Police.
Welsh biometric innovators Connective Touch from Ebbw Vale are opening doors in Canada – 5 September 2019
In July 2018, Mike Thususka, the Director of Economic Development for the City of Summerside in Eastern Canada came to visit Cyber Wales looking for innovative technologies that could add value to their ambitious Smart Cities programme.
Cluster member Steve Gallagher from 888 Group introduced Mike to the Cyber Wales Ecosystem through Bill Fraser, the Cardiff-based International Business Development expert from Fraser International.
8 Cluster members including Priszm & Interceptor Solutions from South Wales, TarianTech from Mid Wales and SI Risk from North Wales met with Mike to discuss the potential for their technologies in the North American markets.
6 of the Welsh companies were subsequently invited to visit Canada in November to demonstrate their ideas to the various Departments of the Summerside Government.
The “Living Lab” that Summerside have created across their city provides an amazing testbed for new technologies and the offer to use it was complimented by a soft landing programme for new companies, mentoring on the markets and proactive promotion of the vendors in Canada and the US through Summerside’s own business development networks.
One company, Connective Touch, were so warmly received that they incorporated a company in Canada in February and are running a full scale pilot installation of their unique biometric systems across the city with plans to tackle the giant market opportunity using Summerside as their launch pad.
Many congratulations to Devi Sohanta, founder of Connective Touch. It is great to see successes like this come from global reach of Cyber Wales and we all wish Devi and her team the best of luck in this exciting venture.
Thanks also to Bill Fraser who continues to work his magic for Welsh companies who want to reach other markets around the world – keep up the good work Bill.
Cyber Wales Ecosystem answers call-to-arms as Welsh Student set to compete at WorldSkills 2019 Competition – 4 August 2019
Kyle Woodward, a student at the National Cyber Security Academy in Newport, has successfully battled his way through Local, Regional (Wales) and then National competition stages to gain a seat on the plane to represent Team UK at WorldSkills 2019 in Russia along with 30 other people. Team UK are now training hard in their respective areas of expertise for this opportunity to shoot for Gold Medals in this event which has been dubbed the “Vocational Olympics“.
WorldSkills 2019 will take place in Kazan, Russia on 22-27 August 2019. The WorldSkills Competition, which is run every two years hosted by different Nations each time, will bring together more than 1,600 young professionals representing more than 60 countries who will compete in 56 skills which are grouped into 6 Sectors including ICT. The event will be held at the KAZAN EXPO International Exhibition Centre where more than 1,500 Experts will evaluate the Competitors’ performance (see www.worldskills2019.com for more information).
7 competitors from Wales will represent Team UK at this competition, the highest ever number of Welsh competitors representing Team UK. The competitors from Wales include:
- Kyle Woodward in Cyber Security from Cardiff and Vale College
- Phoebe McLavy in Hairdressing from Coleg Sir Gar and Morgan Edward Salon
- Collette Gorvett in Restaurant Service from Gower College Swansea
- Chris Caine in Joinery from Pembrokeshire College and DH Carpentry
- Sam Everton in Cooking from Pembrokeshire College and Crwst
- Thomas Lewis in Electrical Installation from Cardiff and Vale College and Blues Electrical
- Thomas Thomas in Plumbing from Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor
Kyle attended a Welsh Language school and is a fluent Welsh speaker, he then went to college (Cardiff & Vale) and then onto an apprenticeship degree course at the ground-breaking National Cyber Security Academy in the University of South Wales. He joined the South Wales Cyber Security Cluster when he started his degree and has been a very proactive member.
When we discovered that Kyle had been selected to represent Team UK at WorldSkills, the Cyber Wales Ecosystem put out a “Call to Arms” to the entire membership asking if anyone could help Kyle get some additional experience and knowledge training ahead of his trip to Russia and the response has been amazing (a real Welsh “Dunkirk” story!). We had lots of responses including: –
- NHS Wales
- SANS Institute in Swansea
- Royal Signals Cyber Troop
- TARIAN Regional Cyber Crime Unit
- North Wales Police Cyber Crime Team
- Glyndwr University
We also reached out to GlobalEPIC, the Global Ecosystem of Ecosystems in Cyber of which Cyber Wales is a Founding Member, which includes 27 Cyber Clusters in 18 countries across 6 continents and received invitations from The Hague Security Delta in the Netherlands and the iCyber Techhub in Maryland USA offering to host Kyle for some special training sessions and considering exchange visits for their Cyber Champions to come to Wales.
May’s South Wales Cluster Meeting was staged at the Cyber Village on the National Cyber Security Academy floor of the USW City Campus in Newport and the entire agenda was given over to providing learning, advice and tips on a number of cyber related topics from the experts in the Cyber Cluster. Questions were posed to prompt discussion and the group, offered opinions, experiences, healthy debate and handled any specific queries Kyle had around target learning areas in preparation for the competition.
After the meeting, Kyle was taken over to the Cardiff Barracks of the Royal Corps of Signals Cyber Protection Troop at 53 Signal Squadron where he joined members of British Army Cyberists from Cardiff, North Wales, London and Army HQ Wales for an interactive session on Cyber in the Armed Forces including the Cyber Kill Chain, Indicators of Compromise and the Army’s Cyber Incident Response Process.
Kyle was also welcomed by the NHS Informatics team and shown how incident response and secure programming are handled as well as being given the chance to quiz the team and get further guidance for study.
Following his adventures with the South Wales Cluster, Kyle travelled up to North Wales two days later for a session with the North Wales Cyber Security Cluster which included time in the new Cyber Labs at Glyndwr University, input from the North Wales Police Cyber Unit and a session with Cyber Experts in forensics and secure development.
SANS Institute, the biggest provider of Cyber Training in the World, who have their EMEA HQ in Swansea, also hosted Kyle, offering him £7,500 worth of certified training free of charge – which took place in Germany.
John Davies, CEO at Pervade Software and Chair of the South Wales Cyber Security Cluster, said: “Being part of Team UK at WorldSkills is a massive achievement for Kyle, and shows the strength and sense of community of the Cyber Ecosystem in Wales, with a number of cluster members offering experience and knowledge training as Kyle prepares to go to Russia. We’ve even set up exchanges for cyber champions with other eco system members across the world.”
We would like to take this opportunity to wish Kyle the best of luck in the competition and whatever the result, he will remain a winner in the eyes of all in Cyber Wales.
Pob Lwc Kyle a Team UK!
Airbus Cyber Innovation celebrates the opening of its Cyber Innovation Hub located in the Airbus facility in Newport, Wales. The Hub hosts leading cyber security research initiatives, incubators and accelerators, and academic research partnerships. Key areas of research include the protection of industrial control and safety critical systems, understanding the human factors of cyber security, and artificial intelligence and data analytics.
The Newport Hub helps promote Wales’ reputation for cyber excellence by developing cyber talent in the region and engaging with Welsh industry and academia.
An ambitious cyber security initiative jointly funded by the Welsh Government and Airbus called CyberLab is hosted at the Airbus Cyber Innovation Hub. The dedicated up to £8 million programme of activity and research in a laboratory environment develops fundamental cyber security research for key industrial requirements in advanced manufacturing organisations.
Partnerships with academia are key to Airbus Cyber Innovation’s goal of identifying and developing emerging research and technology. The Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Analytics is a partnership with Cardiff University launched in 2017. A leading UK academic research unit for cyber security analytics, the team is developing new ways of protecting corporate IT networks, intellectual property and critical national infrastructure from cyber attacks.
Attending the opening, Ken Skates AM, Minister for Economy and Transport, said: “I am delighted to be working in partnership with Airbus on this exciting and absolutely vital new facility. This Cyber Innovation Hub will give front line leadership in cyber security to companies and enterprises across Wales and indeed the UK for this and future generations. I view Cyber as a building block for every commercial enterprise in Wales. It is not only larger businesses that should be concerned about cyber security, it is every size of business across the entire Country who needs to take action now to safeguard our national infrastructure and strong supply chain.”
Dr Kevin Jones, Head of Airbus Cyber Innovation, said: “The launch of the Cyber Innovation Hub is further recognition of the strategic importance of the cybersecurity research and innovation programme for Airbus. It demonstrates the company’s commitment to cybersecurity and research into the protection of business and critical systems and recognises the value of the cyber security ecosystem in Wales. The flagship cyber innovation laboratory and CyberLab programme enables transformation of the cyber security horizon, and further enhances the “Cyber Wales” brand on a global scale.”
Today, there are 23 Cyber Security Clusters operating in the UK under the umbrella of the UK Cyber Security Forum.
These Clusters are helping cyber security professionals to meet regularly and share best practice all over the country from Scotland to Cornwall, from Wales to Norfolk and everywhere in between. The Forum was founded as a Community Interest Company in 2014 by Dr Emma Philpott who also formed the very first Cyber Security Cluster in Malvern in 2011.
Cyber Wales began life as one of these Cyber Security Clusters, the second open Cluster to form after Malvern, and since 2014 we have grown into 7 Clusters with 1,200+ members from over 750 organisations enjoying partnerships with 30 international Clusters from 25 countries across all 5 continents.
All of this began thanks to the vision and hard work of Dr Emma Philpott and we are delighted to offer our CONGRATULATIONS to Emma for being awarded an MBE for contributions to cyber security.
It all began when Emma earned her PhD for her work in the UK MoD in CMCs (ceramic matrix composites) used today right across the Defense and Space industries and beyond. This highly technical background was the foundation that enabled a shift into the world of Cyber Security and when the UK Government announced it’s first public release National Cyber Security Strategy in 2011 Emma was right there in the thick of things.
Determined to fly the flag for SME’s and minority groups in a cyber security world dominated by Government and Enterprises, Emma set about redressing the balance and we are all enjoying the results of her ideas and hard work.
In addition to running the Malvern Cluster and the Forum, Emma runs a company, The IASME Consortium, which was selected as one of the first Accreditation Bodies for the UK Government’s Cyber Essentials Scheme and IASME have completed more than the lion share of the certifications issued to organisations all over the UK.
More recently, Emma has pioneered another visionary project. The UK Cyber Security Forum runs cyber security training courses for unemployed neuro-diverse adults and the graduates from this revolutionary training programme are working in a SOC (Security Operations Centre) aimed at running services for micro-businesses and charities.
It is ideas, vision, hard work and dedication to causes such as these that has made Emma stand out within the industry and whenever a panel of experts is assembled or whenever the BBC needs a comment from an industry expert, it is Dr Emma Philpott who is first on the list.
Dr Emma Philpott MBE… Cyber Wales would just like to say “Llongyfarchiadau mawr iawn i chi Emma, a diolch yn fawr iawn i chi am eich waith galed“
CYBERUK is the UK government’s flagship cyber security event. Hosted by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), it features world-class speakers, solutions and opportunities for interaction between the public and private sectors.
CYBERUK is the authoritative event for the UK’s cyber security community. It demonstrates what businesses, government, law enforcement and academia can do together as teams and as organisations to deliver a digital Britain that leads the world in cyber resilience.
As in previous years, Welsh Government had a stand at the event and Neil Sandford was showcasing the Cyber Wales Ecosystem with the help of a number of members of the Welsh Cyber Clusters.
Cyber Wales representatives Clare Johnson, Head of Cyber Security for the Faculty of Computing Engineering & Science at the University of South Wales and Pete Burnap, Professor of Data Science & Cybersecurity at Cardiff University School of Computer Science along with John Davies, Co-founder & Chair of the South Wales Cyber Security Cluster who wer on-hand to answer questions about Welsh cyber capability.
This year, delegates were offered seven content-rich Streams, encouraging active audience participation in the key areas of Collaborating Securely, AI, Countering the Adversary, Resilience and Resisting Attack, Safety and Cyber Security, Growing Cyber and a Stream of Interactive Workshops.
Cyber Wales also demonstrated proactive support for the MoD Army 2020 Strategy and in particular the strategy to develop tactical Cyber Protection Teams in the Army Reserve. South Wales Cyber Security Cluster Member Mark Howells, himself a Reservist with 53 Signal Squadron of the Royal Corps of Signals and a Cyber Troop Commander was given permission to man the stand in uniform to raise the profile of this important national initiative.
RSA Conference conducts information security events around the globe that connect attendees to industry leaders and highly relevant information. Their conferences draw over 50,000 attendees per year, more than any other conference in the world. Events offer valuable content presented by some of the industry’s most forward-thinking leaders, the chance to network with thousands of peers and the inspiration to protect organizations now and in the future by finding new ways of approaching security.
GlobalEPIC chose this conference to hold a Members Meeting and representatives from Cyber Security Ecosystems around the world gathered at the Venable Law Firm’s offices in North Beach.
This was a great opportunity for all members to take a break from the conference, get together informally and discuss some of the projects and initiatives that have emerged from GlobalEPIC recently, such as the Soft Landing Programme and the sharing of information about Cyber Ranges.
Caroline Thomas from ObjectTech Group, a proactive member of Cyber Wales and the South Wales Cyber Security Cluster, attended the meeting and provided a briefing on the Welsh Soft Landing offering. Caroline was at RSA as part of a delegation from the NCSC Cyber Accelerator LORCA and a number of others from the cohort joined the meeting to learn more about the Global Ecosystem of Ecosystems of which Cyber Wales is a Founding Member.
Cyber Wales members formed a Delegation of cyber security companies who were invited to present to a range of industry representatives from all over Japan at an event held in the British Embassy in Tokyo.
Presentations were given by Dr Kerry Beynon, European data privacy expert, partner at RDP Law, Damon Rands, CEO of Wolfberry Cyber and John Davies, Managing Director of Pervade Software and they were later joined by Japanese experts for a Discussion Panel.
The Delegation was hosted by the Japan Cluster of Security Professionals and their Founder & CEO, Sam Matsumoto, commented “It is a pleasure to host specialist Welsh cyber companies and we would like to encourage cooperation and collaboration in the fight against the growing global threat of cyber attacks“.
The event was supported by the new Welsh Government Representative for Japan, Robin Walker and his Inward Investment staff including Goro Okada who worked with the British Embassy to help make the event a success.
In addition to the event, the trip involved a series of meetings between Cyber Wales companies and major companies in Japan including Telecoms, Energy and Security Service Providers which provided the opportunity to explore collaboration in more detail.
Some Cyber Wales members were also lucky enough to have been among delegates who were interviewed for Japanese Television when they arrived at Tokyo Airport.
The London Office for Rapid Cybersecurity Advancement (LORCA) is a joint collaboration between Plexal, CSIT and Deloitte. It’s funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport as part of the National Cyber Security Strategy.
LORCA’s facility at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London is a place for innovators, corporates, investors, academics, and engineers to come together and grow the most promising cybersecurity solutions of our time with tailored support to help them scale and meet the needs of industry. The first cohort of 9 companies joined in June 2018, and 6 months later, the second cohort of 10 businesses have just been announced.
ObjectTech Group Ltd, who work out of Falcon Drive in Cardiff, are proactive members of Cyber Wales and the South Wales Cyber Security Cluster and we are all delighted that they were selected to be in the 2nd LORCA Cohort.
Caroline Thomas from ObjectTech said “A huge thank you to the CyberWales team for introducing us to Lydia and the LORCA opportunity at the November Cluster meeting. Our selection announced today as 1 of 10 UK cybersecurity companies chosen for Rapid Cybersecurity Advancement, illustrates the power and impact of the ecosystem that has been created in Wales“.
CyNation, a Satellite Member of the South Wales Cyber Security Cluster who are based in London, have also been selected for this Cohort and we wish Shadi Razak and Daniela Menzky, who have been involved in collaborations with Cyber Wales members, all the very best in the growth of their unique cyber solution.
Another organisation to be selected is Bob’s Business. Melenie Oldham from the Barnsley based Cyber Awareness firm is the Founder and Chair of the very successful Yorkshire Cyber Security Cluster, which is yet more proof that the Cyber Clusters can, and do, provide an environment and opportunities for cyber companies to help each other to grow and be successful.
Well done to the Cluster members and to all 10 of the selected organisations – Cyber Wales wishes you all the very best in your year of Cyber Advancement!
As a territory at the cutting edge of cyber defense and cyber security, Brittany welcomed the 3rd edition of the European Cyber Week, from November 19th to 22th 2018.
At this European event, organised in Rennes by the ‘Pôle d’Excellence Cyber‘ and its partners, the programme included technical conferences, business meetings and high-level events, addressing civilian and military stakes, around the thematic of Artificial Intelligence and Cyber Security, and its applications in the area of health, media and defense. Members of Cyber Wales met with representatives of the Pôle d’Excellence Cyber at the St David’s Day event in Brussels back in March and planning for this return visit began then.
Cyber Wales representative Dr Kerry Beynon, European data privacy expert, partner at RDP Law, joined an impressive group of panelists for a main stage discussion titled “From Silicon Valley to Start up Nation: which opportunities for European Valleys?”.
Fellow panelists included Laurent de Mercey the Directorate-General for Regional & Urban Policy at the European Commission, Bertrand Piechaczyk the Engineering Unit Director from Bretagne Développement Innovation, José Calvo Territory Director for the Salamanca Institute in Castilla y León, Javier Barriocanal the Head of the Basque Cybersecurity Center and Jarno Salonen the Director of the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.
Welsh Government Trade & Invest teams including Neil Sandford from Wales and Ruth Stockley from the EU office in Brussels worked hard to organise for a Trade Mission of Welsh businesses to attend the event and all the delegates were able to capitalise on how well Kerry positioned Cyber Wales and it’s role on the Global stage.
CYBERSEC EU is an annual public policy conference held at the ICE Congress Centre in Krakow, Poland dedicated to the strategic challenges of cybersecurity.
The conference is the flagship event of The Kosciuszko Institute a Founding Member of GlobalEPIC alongside Cyber Wales and this event was a perfect opportunity for representatives of the Ecosystems to meet and have a catch up.
One of the Institutional Patrons of the CYBERSEC Forum is the Cyberwatching Project, the European observatory of research and innovation in the field of cybersecurity and privacy, and this year the Project ran their inaugural Annual Workshop in the Auditorium in Krakow.
Cyber Wales representative John Davies, Co-founder & Chair of the South Wales Cyber Security Cluster, who proactively support the Cyberwatching Project, was invited to speak on stage at the Forum and as a Panelist in the Inaugural Workshop.
John joined: David Wallom, Associate Professor at Oxford University; Michel Drescher from the e-Research Centre at Oxford University; Raul Valera of AEI Ciberseguridad in Spain; Jose Ruiz, a senior cybersecurity expert at Atos; and Aitor Vieira from the CYBECO project, a collaboration between seven European institutions. The topic was assessing research outputs within the cybersecurity and privacy landscape.
On 4 & 5 October the Cyber Security Week Congress & Expo consisted of an exposition for national and international organisations to display their innovative cyber security solutions, a matchmaking programme with pre-arranged meetings, an Access to Capital event, an Access to Talent event and dozens of other cyber security related keynotes, sessions and workshops.
The CSW Congress and Expo was powered by The Hague Security Delta, a Founding Member of GlobalEPIC (the Ecosystem of ecosystems for Partnership and Innovation in Cyber) and took place at the Fokker Terminal in The Hague.
John Davies, Co-founder & Chair of the South Wales Cyber Security Cluster, attended the event to represent Cyber Wales and the Welsh Cyber Security Clusters at the GlobalEPIC Annual Symposium which was one of the independent events at the Congress.
The symposium marked the anniversary of the launch of GlobalEPIC and it was a terrific opportunity for the original 14 Ecosystems to come together again and also to meet representatives from the new Ecosystems who have joined GlobalEPIC over the previous 12 months.
The Ecosystem of ecosystems has grown since it was launched to encompass no fewer than 26 Cyber Security Ecosystems from 22 countries spanning 5 continents. New Ecosystems represented at the Symposium included the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Taiwan, Turkey and the Basque Region of Spain.
Cyber Wales representative Damon Rands, CEO of Wolfberry Cyber Ltd was at the launch the new Dubai Cyber-Security Cluster in Emirates Towers in Dubai.
Damon, one of a number of Cyber Wales members who have operations in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), runs his organisation from the Emirates Towers and has formed strong links with other cyber businesses in the area since opening his offices there. Having been a long-standing member of the South Wales Cyber Security Cluster and pro-actively involved in the formation of Cyber Wales, Damon was able to share information and ideas about what makes a successful Cluster.
Working with the Dubai Police, the Dubai Futures Academy and other local cyber firms to help get this new Cluster off the ground, Damon is also continuing to foster close working relationships with Cyber Wales and promote the Region to other Welsh companies who could benefit from the businesses opportunities available in the UAE’s fast growing economy.
The new Cluster aims to bring together law enforcement, Government, industry professionals and enthusiasts towards the goal of advancing Cyber-Security in the UAE and more broadly, the Middle East.
The Cluster looks to support the initiatives and direction of the UAE Government and to help make local business more secure and resilient to attack by fostering knowledge sharing and the development of new skills and capabilities in the region.
Another Cyber Security Cluster has been formed under the umbrella of Cyber Wales.
Clare Johnson, Head of Cyber Security in the Faculty of Computing, Engineering & Science at the University of South Wales launched the Women in Cyber Cluster at the University’s City Campus in Newport on Tuesday afternoon.
Clare heads up the team who run the National Cyber Security Academy, a BSc (Hons) Applied Cyber Security degree course where students work directly on ‘live briefs’ from industry, so their training will stay relevant and address current issues and topics. This hands-on approach also enables students to gain industry contacts and understand what will be expected of them in the workplace when they graduate.
The Academy punches above its weight when it comes to female to male students as well as staff and Clare is keen to make this precedent the “norm” in an industry still predominantly populated by men.
The meetings provide a valuable way for women working, or hoping to work, in the cyber industry to meet and support each other.
Speakers are organised for each of the monthly meetings, but most importantly there is always plenty of opportunity to chat, share ideas and provide advice for each other in this dynamic industry.
The 11th International Conference on Security of Information and Networks (SIN-2018) organized by Cardiff University, School of Computer Science and Informatics, provides an excellent international forum for sharing knowledge and results in theory, methodology and applications of Security in information and networks.
The conference invites significant contributions from researchers and industrial working on the development of cryptographic algorithms, security schemes, cryptanalysis, application security, system security, cloud security and network security. The aim of the conference is to provide a platform to the researchers and practitioners from both academia as well as industry to meet and share cutting-edge advancements in the field of information and network security.
The event was attended by Universities and Institutes from around the world including the USA, Turkey, Australia, Russia and India and, in recognition of the role Cyber Wales now plays on the Global stage members of the Ecosystem were asked to participate.
Representatives from Cyber Wales contributed by staging a discussion panel. Moderated by John Davies Co-founder & Chair of the South Wales Cyber Security Cluster, and attended by Jason Davies Founder and Chair of the North Wales Cyber Security Cluster and Cyber Wales members Anthony Matthews of Charmwood Risk Management, Marie Caruso of Arcanum Cyber Security, Corporal Mark Howells of 53 Squadron of the Royal Corps of Signals in the British Army.
After a brief presentation on the background and scope of Cyber Wales the discussion was very much audience driven in what turned out to be a very interactive and engaging session.
The Gulf Information Security Expo & Conference (GISEC) is not just one of the most impactful cybersecurity shows in the Gulf Region, but it is also the largest, overshadowing other events in terms of aspiration, diversity and scope.
In its 7th edition, GISEC welcomed over 7,000 cyber-specific visitors, and was co-located with IoTX and Future Blockchain Summit, and collectively they delivered over 12,000 visitors.
Cyber Wales members visited the United Arab Emirates on an Trade Mission earlier in the year to establish relationships with key organisations, assess the market opportunity and meet the Welsh Government Representatives. Having determined that there was a healthy business opportunity, Cyber Wales returned to attend this event and present a range of Welsh cyber solutions to attendees from all over the GCC Region.
A Cyber Wales stand was organised so that Wolfberry, Acuity Legal and Pervade Software could share the space which was opposite the UK DIT delegation stand on the exhibition floor.
The agenda was directed by a powerful Advisory Board of senior end-users from Dubai Electronic Security Centre, Dubai Police and Smart Dubai and Cyber Wales members were given speaking slots. South Wales Cyber Security Cluster members Damon Rands, Dr Kerry Beynon and John Davies all spoke on the Spotlight Stage
The success of this event has prompted a number of Cyber Wales organisations to set up operations in the United Arab Emirates.
In September 2014 the NATO Summit was held in Newport in Wales. The agenda placed a major emphasis on cyber security and this event was closely followed by the first Welsh Industry Cyber Summit in early 2015 organised by CEMET (the Centre of Excellence in Mobile and Emerging Technologies). The Summit was run again in April this year and this time it formed part of the Cyber Wales Ecosystem.
Cyber Wales Ecosystem includes cyber activities being carried out by Government, Business, Law Enforcement and Academia and this year’s Summit included sessions from each of these allies in the battle against cyber crime.
In partnership with CEMET, Welsh Government, Southern Wales Regional Organised Crime Unit (TARIAN), the University of South Wales and Cyber Wales, this event brought together experts in each field so that delegates could learn about the ever-changing threat of Cyber Crime and how to better protect their businesses.
John Davies, Co-founder & Chair of the South Wales Cyber Security Cluster delivered a key note talk at the opening of this prestigious event, describing the growth of the cyber security ecosystem in Wales, which is now an internationally recognised brand that encapsulates all aspects of cyber security in Wales and acts as a mark of expertise, quality and clarity in a complex and rapidly changing area of life.
CYBERUK is the National Cyber Security Centre’s (NCSC) flagship event on cyber security. Over three days, 2,000 people attended events covering both strategy (CYBERUK Leadership) and delivery (CYBERUK In Practice) – gaining up to date information and industry leading insights.
Leadership: The Government’s leadership event for business and public sector decision makers and strategists saw key senior staff – policy makers, CEOs and thought leaders – learning about and contributing to the development of the latest thinking on how cyber security and business acumen come together to deliver successful business outcomes. Speakers were drawn from the same community as the 600+ vetted delegates – Government, Academia, the Third sector, Critical National Infrastructure and Industry. Minister-led, this event featured senior representatives from GCHQ and the NCSC.
In Practice: Brought together 1200+ information security professionals including specialists in the design and development of online services and systems, plus professionals in procurement and delivery. It was an opportunity to share best practice, learn about the latest security threats and solutions, and consider the growing challenges we all face.
Welsh Government had a stand at the event showcasing the Cyber Wales Ecosystem and the breadth and depth of cyber expertise in Wales.
Cyber Wales representatives Clare Johnson, Head of Cyber Security for the Faculty of Computing Engineering & Science at the University of South Wales and John Davies, Co-founder & Chair of the South Wales Cyber Security Cluster helped to man the stand and answered questions about Welsh cyber capability.
This attracted attention from the Joint Cyber Unit, part of the Joint Forces Command, who volunteered to come to Wales and speak at a Cluster meeting about the exciting work of cyber in the Armed Forces as well as from various Government entities and cyber companies.
The prime minister Teresa May was in South Wales as part of her whistle-stop tour around the UK to mark one year to go until Brexit. BBC Wales political correspondent James Williams interviewed key industry leaders in various sectors to highlight the anticipated impact of Brexit.
In a news article which featured interviews with Rob Wainwright the Director of Europol, Alun Michael the Police Commissioner for South Wales Police and John Davies of Cyber Wales and Co-founder & Chair of the South Wales Cyber Security Cluster, the BBC asked how efforts to fight cyber crime might be effected post-Brexit.
Speaking about the need for close collaborative links between law enforcement agencies and cyber experts around the world, John said “a hacker sitting at a laptop in Bulgaria can attack a specialist company in Blaengarw, so the effort we all need to put in to tackle cyber crime is going to rise above any political boundaries”.
Rob Wainwright from Europol said “Wales plays its part in a very strong UK commitment in cyber and we are very pleased to have that association which we hope will continue in the future”.
Mr Wainwright, who is stepping down as the Head of Europol later this year also said that he was “personally very proud of the Welsh cyber commitment” as he himself comes from Carmarthenshire.
In a series of features on “Cybersecurity for small business”, journalist Rob Waugh quoted Cyber Wales in his article titled “What skills do we need to fight cybercrime?”.
The article states that most small businesses mistakenly think that hackers will not target them, according to research by analyst KPMG, with 51pc believing they won’t be targeted.
This is, however, a myth. In fact, hackers now target small businesses as a matter of choice, says John Davies, Co-founder & Chairman of the South Wales Cyber Security Cluster.
Mr Davies says: “Recently we have seen a huge rise in extortion attacks being aimed at smaller companies. It is far easier to get a thousand small businesses to pay £100 than it is to get a large corporate to pay off a £100,000 blackmail threat”.
“These attacks are indiscriminate. The best possible advice to small businesses is to prepare. Thankfully, this has been made easier through the availability of a best-practice framework, developed in the UK and readily available for all companies”.
The Government’s Cyber Essentials scheme has been designed to prepare businesses for the most common cyber threats and serve as a first step, along with the Small Business Guide, to improving cybersecurity awareness”.
The article also quoted Ciaran Martin the CEO of NCSC, Kevin Chapman an SVP at Avast, Cath Goulding the Head of IT Security at Nominet and John Shaw a VP at Sophos.
On the eve of St David’s Day, the feast day for the patron saint of Wales, Cyber Wales and the Welsh Government, with support from the Department of International Trade at the British Embassy to Belgium, organised a Trade Mission to Brussels.
Throughout the day, a diverse group of Cyber Wales Cluster members, including 10 companies and 3 universities, were able to make short presentations to potential clients and private partners in Belgium and enjoy several networking opportunities to mingle with the attendees.
Participating companies included; Acuity DataGuard, Cardiff University Airbus Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Analytics, Astrix Integrated Systems, Awen Collective Ltd, Capital Network Solution Ltd, Crypto Quantique, Morgan & Morgan, Pervade Software, Safonda Limited, Swansea University – CHERISH Digital Economy Research Centre, University of South Wales, Wolfberry, and Xcina.
The event was also attended by representatives of other Global Cyber Ecosystems including L-SEC from Belgium, The Kosciuszko Institute from Poland, both fellow founding member of the GlobalEPIC (the Ecosystem of ecosystems for Partnerships and Innovation in Cybersecurity), and the Bretagne Cyber Valley from Brittany, France.
Keynote speeches were given by:-
- Sir Julian King, EU Security Commissioner
- Prof Mark Drakeford AM, Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary for Finance
- Alison Rose, British Ambassador to Belgium
- John Davies, Co-founder & Chair of the South Wales Cyber Security Cluster
- Ulrich Seldeslachts, Belgian Cyber Security Cluster (L-SEC)
- Fabian Vandenreydt, Executive Chairman B-Hive European Collaborative Platform (B-Hive)
- Luigi Rebuffi, Secretary General & Founder European Cyber Security Organisation (ECSO)
- Alain Courtois, Chief of Contracting, NATO NCI Agency
Also during the day Cyber Wales signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with B-Hive, a European collaborative innovation fintech platform that brings together major banks, insurers and market infrastructure players.
The day’s programme culminated in a fantastic networking reception at the Residence of the British Ambassador, HMA Alison Rose, jointly hosted by The Cabinet Secretary for Finance for Welsh Government, Mr Mark Drakeford AM. More than 300 business people from Belgium, France, Brittany & Poland attended the event which featured specially imported Welsh cuisine like Welsh Cakes, Bara Brith and drinks from the Penderyn Distillery including seaweed flavoured gin!
Cybertech Tel Aviv 2018 Conference & Exhibition, drew more than 15,000 visitors from around the globe, and over 200 companies exhibited their innovative technologies and solutions in the cyber domain.
This is the flagship event for CyberSpark, the Israeli Cyber Innovation Arena in Beer-Sheva. A joint venture of the Israeli National Cyber Bureau in the Prime Minister’s Office, Beer Sheva Municipality, Ben Gurion University of the Negev and leading companies in the cybersecurity industry. CyberSpark are also a Founder Member of GlobalEPIC (the Ecosystem of ecosystems for Partnership and Innovation in Cybersecurity) alongside Cyber Wales.
Cyber Wales representative, Dr Kevin Jones, Head of Cyber Security Architecture, Innovation and Scouting at Airbus attended the event and joined representatives from other GlobalEPIC ecosystems on a panel discussion on the need for global collaboration on cyber challenges.
Kevin also spoke at the event on ICS/SCADA security, a particular area of specialty for the Airbus team in Newport, Wales and for Kevin himself.
Dr Kerry Beynon, representing Cyber Wales was at the launch of the new IP Wales Cluster in the Great Hall of the amazing new Swansea University campus.
In October, Hillary Clinton visited the Campus to receive an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws in recognition of her commitment to promoting the rights of families and children around the world and to unveil a commemorative stone to mark the renaming of Swansea University’s College of Law & Criminology to the “Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law”. Hillary Clinton’s family originates in Wales with Great Grandparents from Abergavenny, Llangynidr and Pembrokeshire who emigrated to the USA to start the famous Pennsylvania family.
The Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law sponsored the launch of a new member of the Cyber Wales Ecosystem – the IP Wales Cluster – being run in conjunction with IP Wales, an award winning business support initiative operating out of the School. IP Wales recognises that cybercriminals are increasingly coming to recognise the value of confidential data held by Welsh SMEs, be it sensitive information about the business operation or customer information.
The aim of both IP Wales and the new IP Wales Cluster is to help Welsh SMEs in their use of the Intellectual Property system with close working relationships with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and the UK Intellectual Property Office. Andrew Beale, Associate Professor at Swansea University gave a presentation on the IP Wales Cybercrime initiative (2017-2020).
Dr Kerry Beynon of Acuity Legal, is a Trustee of the University and works hard to protect the IP of organisations large and small.
Now in its seventh year, this year’s Cyber Threat Summit had a very European focus.
The largest event of its kind, this year attracted cyber security experts from all over Europe to discuss all aspects of cyber security including issues such as GDPR and the NIS Directive. There were three distinct streams running concurrently; “Strategic”, “Operational” and “Technical”. Delegates also saw the introduction of a Cyber Startup Zone giving innovators a chance to shine and network with potential investors.
Cyber Wales representatives, Jason Davies Founder & Chair of the North Wales Cyber Security Cluster and John Davies Co-founder and Chair of the South Wales Cyber Security Cluster, attended the event to fly the flag for Cyber Wales.
John was a main stage speaker at the event as a Country Representative for Wales.
Representatives from each European Member State were invited to present on the state of cyber security in their countries, current cyber threats and examples of innovations in cyber security emerging from their cyber communities. John described the flourishing ecosystem in Wales, shared the recent announcement about the launch of GlobalEpic and assured delegates that Wales was open to collaboration and partnerships across Europe and beyond regardless of BRexit.
Cyber Wales took pride of place at the launch of the new GlobalEPIC initiative at the 3rd European Cybersecurity Forum – CYBERSEC 2017 in Krakow, Poland as one of the 14 founding members bringing together the world’s foremost cyber security communities from 10 countries spanning 3 continents.
Representing Cyber Wales at the launch were John Davies Co-founder & Chair of the South Wales Cyber Security Cluster, Jason Davies Founder & Chair of the North Wales Cyber Security Cluster and Nadine Payne Business Development Office at Cardiff University Research & Innovation Services.
The Global Ecosystem of Ecosystems Partnership in Innovation and Cybersecurity (Global EPIC) has been founded to enable the future securely through the development and sharing of new knowledge in the field of cyber security – leading to societal, economic and technological impact in a timely fashion. It will do this by building a global community of innovation ecosystems who will collaborate on projects and share expertise through an expanding network of diverse organizations. This initiative will see 14 global ecosystems co-creating and adopting world-changing solutions to high-impact cybersecurity challenges, both current and emergent. The ecosystems involved come from 10 different countries spanning three continents, reflecting the truly global nature of the partnership.
Cybersecurity threats are a global challenge disrupting local modern living. That hardly a day goes by without news of yet another harmful attack, suggests our current approaches to cybersecurity are failing. Isolating cybersecurity as its own ‘special domain’ misreads its inherent embodiment in all sectors and levels of society. Consequently, new approaches need development if we are to achieve the global and local benefits offered by cyber and cyber-enabled technologies.
14 leading global cybersecurity ecosystems
Across the globe, ecosystems that bring together academia, industry and government operate to respond to cybersecurity threats and enable economic development opportunities. The 14 involved ecosystems have largely developed independently, driven by local and national objectives. The leaders of these keystones have become aware that the challenges of cybersecurity require global paradigm-shifting partnerships and cooperation that reflect regional and local imperatives. Underpinning this perspective is a conscious attempt to ‘glocalise’ – localise the global and globalise the local.
Dr Godfrey Gaston, director of the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT), one of the co-founding organizations, said “The formal launch of Global EPIC represents an escalation of global cybersecurity innovation ecosystem collaboration to tackle head on the challenges citizens, businesses and governments face in supporting the shift to an interconnected digital economy. It is a win/win for organizations and regions involved and we at CSIT are proud to be a founding keystone organisation.”
Izabela Albrycht, chairperson of the Kosciuszko Institute and chair of the CYBERSEC Organizing Committee said, “Building a global knowledge sharing community with cross-sectoral stakeholders is a must, in the face of rapidly expanding cyberthreats. Today, here in Krakow, we are laying the foundations of the partnership which, as we hope, will bring innovators at the forefront of the fight against emerging cyber-challenges.”
“I expect important economic benefits, such as job creation, revenue enhancement and investment,’’ noted Dan Craigen, director of Carleton University, Canada’s Global Cybersecurity Resource (GCR), which equips high growth companies with the skills, resources and linkages required to develop novel cyber products and services, with the explicit intent that companies must scale globally and securely to succeed.
CyberSpark, Israel CEO Roni Zehavi said the organization ‘commences a new era, on which the being and doing at the local level would turn into a sustainable and well-orchestrated operation at the global one’.
Global EPIC has set a target of 50 member cyber security ecosystems by October 2020. The 14 ecosystems in the group at present are:
- bwtech@UMBC (Baltimore, U.S.A.)
- Centre for Secure Information Technologies – CSIT (Belfast, U.K.)
- Cyberspark (Be’er-Sheva, Israel)
- CyberTech Network (San Diego, U.S.A.)
- Cyber Wales (Cardiff, U.K.)
- Global Cybersecurity Resource – Carleton University (Ottawa, Canada)
- Innovation Boulevard (Surrey, Canada)
- INCYDE (Madrid, Spain)
- LSEC (Heverlee, Belgium)
- Politecnico di Torino (Turin, Italy)
- Procomer (Heredia, Costa Rica)
- The Hague Security Delta (The Hague, Netherlands)
- The Kosciuszko Institute (Krakow, Poland)
- The Canadian Institute for Cybersecurity (CIC), University of New Brunswick (Fredericton, Canada).
Content from an article posted on October 16, 2017 by Nitin Dahad in The Next Silicon Valley online magazine