Staying ahead of cyber threats: Cloud Plus at AusCERT 2018

At Cloud Plus our goal is to be invisible. This might sound strange but what we mean is that our number one priority is to protect every single customer we work with via our incredible Partner Network from all imaginable cyber threats. And for this to be so seamless you don’t even know our solution is there. Kind of like super heroes.

In all seriousness though, we do take this task very seriously. Our three city roadshow in 2017: ‘Safeguarding business’s today from the cyber threats of tomorrow’ was our way of spreading as much knowledge as we can so that businesses are informed and empowered.

This drive to help is why we were so excited to attend AusCERT 2018. We knew we would gain a lot of new knowledge that we can build into our solutions to benefit clients and make sure that our Partners remain proud to work with us. We knew attending would help ensure we are staying at the cutting edge of cyber security. We didn’t know there would be a Star Wars dress up night that would expose how ‘unnerdy’ Steve and Mazen really are (Maz has never seen a single Star Wars movie – seriously!). But it was all worth it for an incredible few power boost days of cyber security intensives that will help us, help our Partners to help clients.

What is AusCERT 2018?

AusCERT is the biggest and longest-running Australian conference completely dedicated to cyber security. AusCERT 2018 had the focus: Building Resilience. It promised new information around how to build cyber security resilience, new ways of looking at old security threats, and the possibilities of security in a modern work environment where borders are dissolving and BYOD proliferates.

As Steve puts it:

“Everyone from industry vendors to reformed hackers and InfoSec specialists come together to try and stay ahead of the multitude of threats that our connected world presents us.”

Did it deliver? Yes.

Here’s a brief summary of the main take away points Steve and Maz took from the conference that we can feed into our service provision at Cloud Plus both immediately and into the long term. Cloud Plus Partners should read up on the topics below and feel free to call us to chat through any points that they feel their clients will benefit from knowing more about.

Tutorials deliver technical learning

The event runs over four days, with the first two days chock full of tutorials, and days three and four the big ‘all-in’ conference.

Risk management and data protection

Steve attended an informative tutorial on Information Security Risk Management and one that tackled a hot topic of our times: data protection and privacy. This tutorial focused a lot on the Australian Notifiable Data Breaches scheme (NDB) and the new, EU based General Data Protection Rules (GPDR) which has small notification windows and potentially big fines, so it is good to have some knowledge of it and if it may apply to you. It was great to get some detailed information about this topic that will help us answer Partner questions and consider the implications for developing Cloud Plus customer solutions.

IoT and testing security policies

Mazen went to a tutorial about IoT (Internet of Things) Security. This gave us some good insights into various methods that can be used to create layers of controls that compensate for some of the shortcomings of smart devices. His second tutorial was about social engineering, which was a fascinating glimpse into how IT organisations test their own security policies (some go to the extent of hiring professionals to try and gain access to their systems in order to reveal weak areas). Again – this gave us a lot of information we can use in how we work with Partners to implement and develop clients’ Cloud Plus solutions.

Cyber threats: how to see them and how to stop them

The conference part of the event was packed with incredible presentations by experts at the top of their fields.

Social engineering

This fascinating session delivered by magician and comedian Brian Bushwood revealed just how many ways we all can be manipulated into doing things, giving information and exposing ourselves unwittingly. It was a highly entertaining presentation but the points made were serious. They reminded us at Cloud Plus that we can never be too cautious about protecting clients by having thorough checks and balances in place with every IT process and system.

What’s ahead in cybercrime and hacking

Again fascinating and also pretty confronting. When you think about how many new and evolving ways there are to commit cybercrime and hack systems it can seem overwhelming. But knowledge is power and this is why the AusCERT 2018 conference was so good. By coming together as a community we pool our knowledge and then apply this to the work we do for our clients and communities.

After the intensity of the conference sessions, the Gala Dinner was a ball! It was great to see all the Star Wars fans kitted out in costumes and clearly revelling in the joy of childhood (and adulthood!). Brian Brushwood’s magic show, like his opening presentation, was hilarious and there were awards handed out to deserving recipients for their work and contribution to the information security space.

Well-armed for the future

Cloud Plus came away from the AusCERT 2018 with reams of new knowledge to feed into our own processes, development and customer service. It is comforting to know that we learned from the very best in the business and to get it confirmed that our approach and methods already meet very high standards.

Cyber security is intricate, technical and evolving so quickly. Our dedication to staying on top of it in every way has been bolstered by this event.

If you have any concerns about cyber security or you just want an informed conversation about the cloud do get in touch with us or a member of our extensive Partner Network. Being 100% Partner-centric, working with our Partners to make sure they benefit from Cloud Plus learnings and expertise is a crucial component of our business success in recent years.

One thing AusCERT 2018 drove home is that nobody can rest on their laurels when it comes to cyber security being built in to the infrastructure of their business. So if you’ve been wondering or delaying – now is the time to act.

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