Infosecurity Europe 2019 puts ‘human factor’ firmly under the spotlight

Technology is only one part of the cyber security puzzle. People contribute significantly to risk, as well as to an organisation’s ability to protect itself against myriad threats. This is precisely why the ‘human factor’ will be a key focus at Infosecurity Europe 2019, which runs from 4-6 June at London’s Olympia.

The industry skills shortage is biting hard, with research indicating there will be anything up to 3.5 million unfilled positions by 2021. Now in its 24th year and with Risk Xtra as an Official Media Partner in 2019, Infosecurity Europe will bring experts and thought leaders together to share knowledge on making sure individuals and their host organisations are equipped with the capabilities and awareness to keep data, systems, assets and infrastructure safe at all times.

A number of presentations scheduled for this year’s conference programme will examine how to build skilled security teams and drive security-focused behaviour across organisations.

*’Building Brand Infosec: Engaging Employees to Drive Secure Behaviour’ (Tuesday 4 June from 11.25 am-12.35 pm): A panel discussion involving input from Linda McCormack (head of internal communications at Anglian Water Services), Flavius Plesu (head of information security at the Bank of Ireland), Paula Kershaw (head of cyber security for Europe and the UK at HSBC) and Killian Faughnan (Group CISO at William Hill)

*’It’s All About Peanut Butter: Building a Multi-Disciplinary Infosec Team to Manage Cyber Risk’ (Tuesday 4 June from 12.55 pm-1.35 pm): Presented by Florence Mottay (CISO for Europe at Ahold Delhaize)

There will also be detailed and thought-provoking strategy talks on the following subjects:

*’Secure Behaviour Change: The Application of Behavioural Science to Security Awareness’ (Thursday 6 June from 3.20 pm-3.45 pm): Presented by Tim Wardof (Think Cyber Security)

*’Weary Warriors: Reducing the Impact of Wishful Thinking and Fatigue on Information Security Decisions’ (Tuesday 4 June from 10.00 am-10.25 am): Presented by Dr Margaret Cunningham (principal research scientist for human behaviour at Forcepoint)

*’Personality Traits Meet Cyber Security’ (Tuesday 4 June from 4.40 pm-5.05 pm): Presented by Anna Collard (founder and managing director of Popcorn Training – a KnowBe4 company)

Speaking about her Strategy Talk, Collard observed: “Certain personality traits make people more or less likely to fall prey to specific cyber attacks or scams. In my talk, I’ll explore the ways in which different traits influence online behaviour and how security teams can apply this knowledge to their culture and awareness programmes. A deeper understanding of why users behave as they do can also be drawn upon to increase user engagement and buy-in.”

Next generation information security

A new highlight for 2019 is FutureSec – a special programme looking at next generation information security through the lens of people and innovation. Sessions will cover topics including developing careers, building skill sets to meet the demands of the digital business, attracting and retaining talent and diversity.

Victoria Windsor, Group content manager at the Infosecurity Group, explained to Risk Xtra: “Strengthening an organisation’s security posture must be an holistic process that addresses the people dimension as well as that of technology. One of our priorities for Infosecurity Europe this year is to support the industry in this area. Not only are security functions under pressure to field teams of increasingly highly-skilled professionals, but they also need to bring the entire business along on the security journey. This involves education and culture change, extending engagement to data-heavy functions like marketing and finance, but also to all employees who handle data and use systems and devices. In short, that’s everybody.”

Presenters taking their place on the Infosecurity Europe Keynote Stage will address the challenges of building strong cyber security strategies and tactics to protect an organisation’s critical information assets as the world around us becomes more complex. This is the vibrant hub of the conference programme. Delegates will be able to gain direct access to information security knowledge and expertise from some of the industry’s leading end user practitioners, policy-makers, analysts and thought leaders.

Infosecurity Europe attracts over 19,500 unique information security professionals attending from every segment of the industry, including 400-plus exhibitors showcasing their products and services, industry analysts, worldwide press and policy experts. Over 200 industry speakers are lined up to take part in the free-to-attend conference, seminar and workshop programme. For more information visit

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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