34309173214_9fc664fd04_zAgainst a backdrop of global economic and political uncertainty, organisations are rapidly transforming and taking advantage of new technologies. Infosecurity Europe focused on the challenges of developing an agile security strategy that can keep pace with business transformation.

In her opening keynote on day one, Dame Stella Rimington, Former Director General of MI5, called for change in the way the Security Services are run. She revealed how the role of women in the security services has transformed, how complex technology and communications have changed the game, and how a culture of blame can have a negative impact during times of crisis.

Careers for women in cybersecurity were put under the spotlight on day two too, with a dedicated Women in Cybersecurity Networking Event. BBC’s technology journalist, Kate Russell, gave an opening keynote, followed by a panel discussion on How to Sell your Professional Self in a Male-Dominated Industry.

Russell, who is a reporter for BBC’s flagship technology show Click, said: “Having a diverse workforce is good for profit, it’s good for the wellbeing of your company and your team, and it promotes a much more stable and happy working environment. There are two things which I think are really important at the moment, one of which is unconscious bias – and companies really need to be aware that this exists – and the other is mentorship, which should not be a limited resource.”

Reflecting on his experiences of the 2012 London Olympic Games, the former athlete and President of the IAAF, Lord Sebastian Coe, discussed the importance of building robust relationships with different types of stakeholders. He described why creating a strong vision and communicating it clearly from the start is essential, and how overcoming the speed at which information comes at us, particular in the age of social media, is becoming increasingly significant.

During his talk Cyber, Risk & Resilience in Sport & Business, Coe said: “We stress tested our IT systems for 200,000 hours in the last couple of years leading up to the Olympic Games. In the end we processed over 20 or so million ticket applications, and while the systems slowed down at certain points they never once crashed. There are no risk-free options in the delivery of something like the Olympic Games, but I think overall we left the country in much better shape.”

It was a busy event for new product launches and exhibitor announcements. A report by Vectra Networks revealed that healthcare is the industry most highly targeted by cyber-attacks, while a Farsight Security/DomainTools study demonstrated why luxury brands and retailers are struggling against online counterfeiting. Meanwhile, Positive Technologies showed how modern day bank robbers can hack into banking systems and encourage ATMs to dispense cash. Instapeople continued to carry out its social engineering challenge, looking at how clues around a workstation can be used to log-in to a computer. Finally, according to a snapshot poll conducted by Centrify at the event, security professionals point to distraction as the biggest potential risk.