My Top 5 Cyber Security Video Series

My Top 5 Cyber Security Video Series

Welcome to my new series of blogs which will cover my top 5 cyber security events, podcasts, publications, and video series. In my first blog I covered the top 5 cyber security events that I cannot afford to miss, and in this blog I am going to list my top 5 cyber security video series.

Without further ado, my top 5 cyber security podcasts are:

Rebooting
Rebooting is the brainchild of Lisa Forte, a cyber security and social engineering expert. For as long as she can remember she has subscribed to the idea that we can learn something from every single person we meet. She has taken it upon herself to meet a wide range of cyber and resilience experts to bring you a fun and informative stream of content. Debating tough issues. Learning new things. Helping you “Reboot” and come back more knowledgeable and resilient. Lisa has interviewed experts such as Troy Hunt, Jake Moore and Graham Clueley.

Cyber Talks
CyberTalks is a media channel dedicated to promoting cyber content direct from leading cyber industry figures. They are passionate about providing real-world content to our members. The CyberTalks community is now more than 10,000 strong, with members drawn from all over the world.

Proficio Cyber Chats
Proficio has a series of cyber chats with leading industry experts such as Tony Morbin and Oliver Roachford. They aim to cover all kinds of topics such as the impact on COVID-19 on the cybersecurity landscape and prioritising your risk.

Cyber Crime TV
Cyber Crime TV is part of Cybersecurity Ventures. They provide cyber economic market data, insights, and ground-breaking predictions to a global audience of CIOs and IT executives, CSOs and CISOs, information security practitioners, cybersecurity company founders and CEOs, venture capitalists, corporate investors, business and finance executives, HR professionals, and government cyber defense leaders.

CS Hub
Cyber Security Hub provides regular multimedia on cloud security, data privacy, mobile security and much more, all in an effort to help businesses enhance their IT security.

What is your favourite cyber security video series? Are there any that you think should be on my list? Let me know in the comments below!

My Top 5 Cyber Security Events

My Top 5 Cyber Security Events

Welcome to my new series of blogs which will cover my top 5 cyber security events, podcasts, publications, and video series. In my line of work as the CEO & Founder of the UK Cyber Security Association and as a cyber security awareness consultant I come across many of these and I thought I would share my favourites. I have a “go to” list of events, podcasts, video series and publications that I visit on a regular basis to get great cyber security industry insights and to find out what the hot topics and themes are in the industry.

I thought I’d start with my top 5 not to be missed cyber security events:

Infosec

Infosecurity is the Daddy of cyber security and Infosec events, and is next taking place on 8 to 10 June 2021, subject to coronavirus restrictions. I get so much out of this event from the latest topics and insights, new vendors and products that are helping to keep the cyber world safe and great networking opportunities with my cyber security colleagues and friends. It really is a not to be missed event and one that is firmly on my cyber security events calendar.

Cyber Fringe Festival

This is a new event taking place on November 23 to November 27 online and it promises to be 5 days of key topics, insights and content from companies and speakers who are actively involved in cyber security across the West Midlands in the UK. There are opportunities for virtual networking and a virtual exhibition booth. Topics covered will include cyber security strategy, operational and technical sessions, cyber industry, defence and emergency services, diversity, government, acceleration and cyber security skills. Another not to be missed event in the cyber security events calendar.

The Future of Cyber Security Event Series

This series of cyber security conferences were face to face events before the coronavirus pandemic, but they have successfully evoloved to be a series of virtual conferences. In 2020 they featured keynote speakers such as Edward Snowden and are compered by Colonel John Doody.  These fully interactive and immersive events provide a full conference experience from the comfort of your own home with plenty of opportunities for learning and development.

Think Digital Partners

Think Digital Partners run a series of one day events that focus on cyber security for the government and public sector, with their next event for government taking place on 1 December 2020. As these are aimed specifically at these 2 sectors, they are fully tailored to provide key insights and content that is interesting and relevant for government and the public sector. Think Digital Partners also run a cyber security and digital ID directory.

CyberUK

CyberUK is the National Cyber Security Centre’s (NCSC’s) flagship event which takes place annual in a different part of the UK. In 2021 it is due to take place at the ICC In Cardiff on 11th and 12th May. It features world-class speakers, solutions, and opportunities for interaction between the public and private sectors. Attendees will be briefed on the evolving cyber threat and how we must respond as individuals and as a community to keep Britain safe in cyberspace. The event is attended by over 2000 delegates and is the authoritative event for the UK’s cyber security community. It aims to demonstrate what we can do together as teams, as departments and as organisations to deliver a digital United Kingdom that leads the world in cyber resilience.

What are your favourite cyber security events and conferences, are there any that you think should be on my list? Let me know in the comments below! In my next top 5 blog I’ll be covering my favourite cyber security video series, so keep checking back for this and to see what my top 5 video series are in the cyber security space.

Proud to Announce a Hattrick of Award Nominations

Proud to Announce a Hattrick of Award Nominations

The last month or so has been particularly horrid what with my beloved dog Poppy being so poorly and all the other horrid events of this year, so I was over the moon last week to find out that I’m a finalist in 3 different sets of cyber security awards:

Computing Security Awards – finalist in the Outstanding Contribution to Cyber Security category

Computing Magazine’s Security Excellence Awards – finalist in the Woman of the Year category

Women in Tech Excellence Awards – finalist in 2 categories: Woman of the Year – Tech Sectory and Role Model of the Year

The ceremonies are all virtual on Zoom this year and take place in early December. I’m not expecting to win, I’m very proud, humbled and honoured to just be a finalist.

Finding out that I am a finalist in these awards means the world to me and has given me a MUCH needed boost. My mental health hasn’t been great recently, and my motivation has been seriously lacking. I’m amazed that I have achieved what I have work wise in the last month! This has helped my motivation and confidence no end, and hopefully I’ll be back to where I was soon.

I have SO much more that I want to do and achieve in the cyber security industry. Despite what is happening in the world, and things can only go upwards from here.

The Rise of the Cyber Women: Volume One – Thank You For Your Support

The Rise of the Cyber Women: Volume One – Thank You For Your Support

It has been a week since I released “The Rise of the Cyber Women: Volume 1” and I have been overwhelmed with the response to it so far. I have had some very positive comments and feedback about it, so much so that I will be releasing “Volume 2” in 2020 in line with International Women’s Day on 8 March.

It was my original intention to use the proceeds from volume 1 (once any costs were met) to put on face to face networking events for women in the cyber security industry. I hoped that these events would be aimed more at those with a non-technical background to help them feel more at ease – I know first-hand how intimidating it can be to be at events that are very technical in nature – they can be a quite off-putting.

However, since the pandemic hit and everything has moved to being virtual, I realised that I can still achieve these events using a virtual platform instead of a face-to-face one. Therefore, all proceeds from the book once my costs for proof reading have been met will be split equally between all the contributors in the book.

This will apply for volume 2, so if you would like to consider submitting a chapter please email me via info@cybersecurityassociation.co.uk or message me via my social media channels on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook to request these. The deadline for submissions is 31 December 2020.

Also, I’ve been asked why my story is not included in the book. Well, the answer to this is simple. I do not want to detract from the brilliant, amazing and inspiring women who are featured in the book and I wanted to give them a well-deserved platform instead of focusing on myself. Therefore, I just wrote the introduction/foreword rather than include my story and journey into the cyber security industry.

If anyone is interested in reading about how I got into the cyber security industry and why I do what I do, my story is on my website here – https://lisaventura.co.uk/my-journey-into-cyber-security-part-1/, split into several parts.

Thank you all again for all your support and lovely comments about “The Rise of the Cyber Women: Volume 1”. I will be continuing to promote the book over the coming weeks, starting with some Q&A interviews with the contributors. “The Rise of the Cyber Women: Volume 1” is available to buy from Amazon now.

Happy 72nd Birthday to the NHS

Happy 72nd Birthday to the NHS

Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday NHS….
Happy birthday to you.

Today marks the 72nd birthday of the NHS, and there is a final #ClapForCarers event taking place at 5pm tonight to mark the occasion. I don’t think I have ever been so grateful for the NHS and what they are doing to keep everyone who contracts coronavirus safe and alive, while also attending to those with other illnesses and conditions. Everyone who works in the NHS, no matter what their role is, is a hero to me.

I feel so lucky and privileged to be able to access healthcare at source whenever I need it, and to book a GP appointment if I need one without having to pay. You could argue that we pay for it through our NHS contributions of course, but that is a small price to pay to be able to see a doctor more or less on demand and to have access to specialists, nurses and doctors when we need them. The NHS should be treasured, because I fear for a day that it becomes a privatised institution.

I’ve had my share of help and support from the NHS over the years – so have my family – and I can’t thank them all enough. We’ve all heard horror stories, and the system isn’t by any means perfect, but we are so lucky to have access to it. In 2013 I had incredible support when I was pregnant with my unborn son Francesco “Frankie” Enrico Ventura. When a severe cleft lip and palate was picked up in him during my 5 month scan I was referred within 3 days from the Worcestershire Royal Hospital to the Foetal Medicine Unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham under obstetrician Professor Mark Kilby. When other problems were detected with him, I was supported every step of the way as I prepared to be a full-time Mum to a son who would need 24-hour round the clock care and support.

When my son was stillborn on 29 November 2013 the care and support I received at the Worcestershire Royal  Hospital was second to none, especially from the hospital Chaplain Rev’d David Southall who went on to become a good friend to myself and my family. I had genetic testing and so did my husband and family at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham when they found after my son was stillborn that he had a very rare chromosome duplication on his chromosome 15, and I know that would not have been cheap. I’m very grateful to the NHS for that and for their support.

With my son Francesco “Frankie” Enrico Ventura and my good friend Rev’s David Southall, Chaplain at the Worcesershire Royal Hospital. Rev’d Southall is baptising my son.

Today I am even more grateful to them for finally getting to the bottom of what was wrong with my Dad and diagnosing him with CASPR2 antibody encephalitis, which is extremely rare and only 45-50 people globally have been diagnosed with this particular kind of encephalitis, which is autoimmune. My Dad has had brilliant support from Dr Tom Heafield, his neurologist at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital and Professor Sarosh Irani and his team at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford who my Dad is now under due to the rarity of his autoimmune condition.

In addition to this my Dad is of huge interest to Dr Saiju Jacob, consultant neurologist at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham and to Dr Mike Zandi, consultant neurologist at the Queens Hospital in London.  The only small gripe I have with my Dad’s illness and condition is that it took the NHS nearly 3 years to get to the bottom of it – my Dad was very close to being diagnosed with motor neurone disease with associated dementia – and he didn’t have either condition. But they got there in the end, and for that I am extremely grateful.

With my Dad when he was in the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford in March 2020, just prior to lockdown, getting treated for his CASPR2 antibody encephalitis under Professor Sarosh Irani.

I can’t even begin to imagine what every single NHS worker is going through right now with the coronavirus outbreak and pandemic, I am in awe of each and every one of them for what they do for us. They deserve our most lavish praise and most outstanding ovations (as the quote goes in the film “The Greatest Showman”). How they cope day after day, night after night is incredible.

If my Dad was living in the USA, even if he had the best health insurance policy that money could by over there, he would NOT be covered for CASPR2 antibody encephalitis. Autoimmune conditions are excluded from health insurance policies in the States and he would have to thousands and thousands of dollars for his treatment despite having insurance.  This brings it home even more as to how lucky we are to have access to healthcare when we need it.

Of course, if we have the money or insurance policies we can bypass the NHS and pay to have certain treatments and operations privately – but the majority of us are not so lucky – and this is only going to get worse as the pandemic grows, job losses occur and people lose their businesses and livelihoods. We MUST treasure our NHS with everything we have got. If I had the power to grant every specialist, professor, doctor, nurse, healthcare professional and person who works for the NHS a pay rise I would do so in a heartbeat. It is scandalous that they are paid so little for everything they do for us.

So happy birthday NHS, and THANK YOU for everything you do for us, especially during these unprecedented times with the coronavirus pandemic spreading like wildfire all over the world. I treasure you all more than you will ever know. On a person note, thank you for all the help, support, treatment and care I and my family have received from you. You all have my deepest and utmost respect for what you do.

A Reflection of the Past Year Since Winning the “Outstanding Contribution” Award from SC Awards Europe & a Note to This Year’s Finalists

A Reflection of the Past Year Since Winning the “Outstanding Contribution” Award from SC Awards Europe & a Note to This Year’s Finalists

Next week the SC Awards Europe takes place, although this year it moves to a virtual platform. The awards will be streamed live on their website https://www.scawardseurope.com/ over 3 days online due to the coronavirus outbreak. Last year I was extremely humbled, honoured and proud to win the “Outstanding Contribution” award, and I couldn’t be there in person to collect my award, something I will always regret.

I couldn’t believe that I had been nominated, let alone find out I was a finalist in my category. I was up against some HUGE names in the cyber security industry such as Ian Glover from CREST and Dr Kevin Jones rom Airbus; I considered all the finalists to be far more worthy winners of my category.  To win the award was incredibly surreal for me and it still feels like a dream today.

This Time Last Year….

The awards ceremony takes place during the same week as Infosec, and with my father being in very ill health at the time I didn’t think I would be able to attend Infosec, let alone attend the awards ceremony. An operation that my father was scheduled to have that same week was cancelled, so at the very last minute I threw some things into a bag, contacted a friend I have in East London to ask if I could stay overnight with her and attended Infosec for 2 days. I thought that the awards ceremony would be sold out or full, so I decided not to attend even though I made it to Infosec at very short notice.

The first day at Infosec was brilliant, I was able to arrange some long overdue meetings with contacts such as Chris Windley and Tim Moran (who gave a great talk in the New Cyber Zone) from Lujam Cyber, Andy Laver from Proficio (although he has moved on from Proficio now), Steve Hood from NTE, Simon Wardle from bluesource and Andrew Lawton from FortressAS amongst others. I was able to network and visit a lot of old friends and contacts in the exhibitor zone and I was so pleased I had made it to Infosec after all.

On the night of the awards ceremony I was at my friends house and was just heading to bed when my husband texted me and said, in true Del Boy from Only Fools and Horses style: “You’ve only gone and done it!” He was following the award announcements on Twitter and saw that I had won the “Outstanding Contribution” award. I couldn’t believe it, and I wasn’t even at the awards ceremony – I was gutted!

The next day at Infosec was a huge blur, so many people came up to me to congratulate me, many I didn’t even know. I attended the “Women in Security” event where I saw the inspirational Professor Sue Black talk about her work and achievements, and women in there came up to me and said I had given them hope and was a huge inspiration.

I collected my award from the SC Magazine offices in Twickenham a few weeks later and got to meet the Editor Toby Morbin, it still felt very surreal, but it was true – I had won the award! It is now one of my most treasured things and has pride of place in my office where I can always see it to remind myself of how far I had come in a short time in the cyber security industry.

This Time This Year…..

Since winning the SC Awards Europe “Outstanding Contribution” award I went on to win “Cyber Security Personality of the Year” from the Cyber Security Awards, “Supporter of Women in Cyber Security” from the Women in Cyber Awards in the USA, and I was named as one of WeAreTechWomen’s 100 inspiring women in tech. I was also named as one of SC Magazine’s “50 Women of Influence” in November 2019, but yet again I couldn’t go to the gathering as my father was very ill at the time and I couldn’t leave him.

I had SUCH great plans this year and was going to do so much. I had been booked to speak at various conferences and events including the Cloud and Cyber Expo, Think Partners Cyber Security for Government Event, and the Identity Management Summit amongst others. They have all been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak. I also planned to attend Infosec again this year, but this has also been cancelled. It looks like all events, conferences and networking events have been cancelled for the foreseeable future – and rightly so.

I have been busier this year than ever because of winning the “Outstanding Contribution” award.  My work with the UK Cyber Security Association keeps me very busy indeed, I’ve been approached to write numerous articles and blogs which I’ve had published, my book “The Rise of the Cyber Women: Volume 1” is due for release on Amazon Direct Publishing in mid-June 2020 and I’ve had cyber security awareness consultancy work coming out of my ears.

The coronavirus outbreak has not stopped me from achieving any of my goals, nor has my work in cyber security been affected. Instead of speaking at face to face events I have taken part in numerous online events, conferences, webinars, and meetings using Zoom, Teams, and other video conferencing platforms. My father has also improved considerably with his health since I won the award last year, which means I can dedicate much more of my time to my work in the industry and achieving my goals.

Winning the “Outstanding Contribution” award has meant the world to me and is a huge achievement. I hope I can go on to achieve even more in the cyber security industry in the coming years – coronavirus or not!

To all The Finalists in all the Categories for 2020

I want to send everyone who is a finalist in all categories in this year’s SC Awards Europe the very best of luck, and congratulations for getting this far – it is a huge endorsement of your achievements, work and the services that your organisation provides for the cyber security industry. You are ALL winners in my eyes and I’m very proud that you are all finalists.

I know the event isn’t what we are all used to with it taking place virtually due to the coronavirus outbreak, but I will be logging onto the live stream Tuesday to Thursday next week to share, retweet and extend my congratulations to all the winners.

If you do win – enjoy it. Leverage it. Be proud of what the award represents and of your achievements. I am very proud of my 2019 “Outstanding Contribution” award, even if my impostor syndrome sometimes gets in the way and tries to tell me otherwise.

To watch the awards and see the live stream at 4pm on Tuesday 2 June, Wednesday 3 June and Thursday 4 June visit https://www.scawardseurope.com/. Also follow SC Magazine on Twitter – https://twitter.com/SCmagazineUK – for announcements of the winners.

Until next week,

Lisa Ventura
CEO & Founder: UK Cyber Security Association
Winner of SC Awards Europe “Outstanding Contribution” Category 2019