THE North East’s largest cyber festival returns next month.

#Cyberfest21, delivered by regional tech network Dynamo in partnership with global professional services company Accenture and the Innovation SuperNetwork, will incorporate a series of events and workshops throughout the month of September.

While last year’s #Cyberfest was completely virtual, this year’s festival of cyber security will be a mix of online and in-person events, more than a dozen of which are planned. The opening event, Cyber Security in a Rapidly Changing World, is on September 7 at Newcastle University’s Urban Sciences Building, and also online. The last events will be Cyber Security and Young Children on September 29 (online) and a #CyberFest Season Finale on September 30.

Phil Jackman, Dynamo Cyber Security Lead and one of the organisers of #CyberFest, said: “Cyber security continues to be an existential threat to businesses and if anything has grown during Covid lockdowns as so many more companies move activities online.

“But with challenges come opportunities and it’s important for the region that we understand both in order to expand our expertise.

“So there is plenty to talk about and explore – #CyberFest will be another fantastic demonstration of the region’s dynamic and exciting cyber security sector.”

This year’s programme includes:

·      September 8, 10am-11.30am – CAKE 41: Innovating In Cyber Security Through Art (online). Confirmed speakers include: Mark Adamson, Project Director at Creative Fuse North East; Gill Hagan-Green, Research And Development Specialist at University of Sunderland and Lynne Hall, Institutional Lead, Creative Fuse.

·      September 9, 10am-11am – National Cyber Security Strategy and the North East (online). Confirmed speakers include Theo Peterson – Head of Future Planning in the cyber strategy team in Cabinet Office.

·      September 16, 10am-1pm – Cyber Security and Fraud (online). Confirmed speakers include: Alan Brown, North East Fraud Forum; Paddy O’Keefe, Regional Economic Crime Coordination Centre; Sharon McDonald, Professor of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and a Chartered Psychologist at University of Sunderland

·      September 21, 3.30pm – 6pm – Building a Cyber Security Business (online workshops). Confirmed speakers include: Jane SiddleNEL and Peter Thompson, Department for International Trade.

·      September 22, 12pm – 2.30pm – Cyber Security Across Manufacturing, Industry and Supply Chains (at Teesside University and online). Confirmed speakers include: Lynsey Robinson – Director, DigitalCity at Teesside University; Aaron Maran, Policy Manager at Make UK; Dr David Hughes – Associate Professor, Materials Engineering at Teesside University.

All events are free to attend and for more information, and to book tickets, go to https://tinyurl.com/46h93nae

Graeme Miller, Head of Innovation at Innovation SuperNetwork, said: “The Innovation SuperNetwork is excited to be working alongside Dynamo on this year’s #CyberFest to help provide North East SMEs the advice and tools they need to protect themselves online. Dynamo is also demonstrating the region’s innovation capability by delivering the event in hybrid format, providing value to those working from home and those wanting to connect in-person again.”

Phil leads on Dynamo’s cyber resilience cluster, which is supported by Accenture, and aims to champion the region’s cyber-security and resilience sector; work with universities to develop increase cyber research and development; enhance skills in the sector and to work with law enforcement and other agencies to meet regional and UK-wide cyber security objectives.

#CyberFest will be delivered by Dynamo as part of the Catalysing Innovation in North East Clusters project, delivered by the Innovation SuperNetwork and part-funded by ERDF

Dynamo is a business-led organisation with the core mission of ‘Growing the North East tech economy through collaboration, innovation, skills and noise.’  With more than 160 members, it is made up of IT organisations, large corporate employers in the region, consultants, technology hubs, education providers, local government and suppliers to the industry.