I was able to attend the City Security And Risk Network (CSARN) conference on organisational resilience today. It was a very well put together one day event with speakers from a broad range of companies and backgrounds such as the Police Force as well as military and traditional consultancies.
The key focus of the day though was of course on elements of organisational resilience such as incident and crisis management, the terrorist threat, global travel planning and the associated risks (in this case played against a backdrop of maintaining operations during the Arab Spring) and of course business continuity management. The speakers were knowledgable, and approachable during breaks for further questions. Justin Crump did a cracking job of maintaining order throughout the day and ensuring the audience was engaging well with the speakers.
Halfway through the day there was a panel discussion focussed on “building and embedding effective cyber security structures”, and I was pleasantly surprised to have been asked last week to be on the panel itself. (Cue jokes for how far down the list they had to go before they got to me etc…). Also on the panel with me was Geordie Stewart (who I am also speaking with at RSA and Paul Simmonds (Co-editor, Cloud Security Alliance “Guidance” v3 Co-founder & Board of Management, Jericho Forum Former CISO, AstraZeneca). I felt it came across as a very well balanced discussion, with some very insightful and focussed questions from the audience. I had been primed that the audience was not that well versed in all things “cyber”, but that didn’t really come across which made for a very enjoyable and engaging discussion.
We covered topics such as sources of cybercrime (state sponsored, organised crime and so called chaotic actors), what our thoughts were on the biggest threats coming out of the “cyber” threat and what we could be doing better at international levels. When each asked what the single take away from the discussion, mine was a rather glib, if valid, “plan for failure”; another strong take away to my mind was “get the basics right, everything else comes second”. Again, it sounds glib and from the school of the bleeding obvious, but over complicating any challenge is so easily done.
If I had one piece of critical feedback (well, two actually) it was that towards the end the presentations seemed to move into blatant sales pitches; now I understand sponsors need to get a return on their sponsorship, but it was the wrong forum to my mind for sales pitches. Secondly, I wouldn’t do something like this again on a Friday; it felt like half the audience had left come 2 o’clock, which can’t have helped the afternoon speakers at all!
I thoroughly enjoyed myself though, have some great key takeaways specifically for my business continuity planning, and I hope have planted the seeds of being able to return again in the future as a solo speaker!
My thanks to Acumin and CSARN for giving me the opportunity to be on their panel, especially alongside two people whom I admire in the industry.
I had an absolute blast last night presenting at the Acumin RANT forum (https://www.rantforum.com) on the topic of “10 Rules of Risk Management… In 10 Movie Quotes”. The premise was simple – people don’t remember rules or dull facts, but they do remember things that emotionally touch them in some way. Each quote and movie opened up a conversation on an aspect of risk management (although the term “rule” was a little inaccurate of course). Given it was the RANT forum, and I was competing for the attention of the audience against the allure of a free bar, there was plenty of opinion and discussion flowing around the room throughout. Hopefully a few of the points I was trying to make will have stuck as a result of quotes such as “You’re gonna need a bigger boat” or “I see dead people”.
I felt the audience engaged and participated throughout with lots of very verbal agreement and disagreement throughout, and it was exciting to be right at the centre of the maelstrom. If you have never been to a RANT before just imagine one person being surrounded by a large number of people only a few feet away; with your back to the projector screen, there is no lectern to hide behind and no stage to stand on. It’s do or die, and a
#Fail never far from your thoughts!
Not everyone agreed with the points I was making of course but that just generated further conversation. I had some excellent follow up conversations with a number of people, including a great idea for my next presentation which a stated up front I might shamelessly steal – I think i got his agreement that doing so was OK! I had some very positive feedback afterwards as well for which I am very appreciative of; if you are reading this and want to provide more feedback, of both kinds, then please do. Without wishing to sound too “new age”, feedback is a gift you can give someone that will allow them to grow and improve. Without it we continue to make mistakes and miss the opportunity to learn.
Gemma (from Acumin) and I tried something new this time as well, filming the presentation with two cameras. It will take me a few days to splice the footage together, but as soon as it is done I will have it posted here. I know some of those who attended were interested in both reviewing and sharing the footage, as well as the slides; these are below, as well as a slideshow of the deck. I use Keynote for my presentations, so the PowerPoint conversion is never a true representation. If in doubt, use the PDF. Someone mentioned last night that they may want to link to the content here too. I have no objections to this, just credit me and don’t muck about with the content!
My thanks to Acumin for hosting the evening, and thank you to all of you who took part, especially the very lucky prize winners! (If you wanted a pen but didn’t get one let me know and I will do my best to send one to you).
Files for download:
Movie from the evening – Coming Soon