Belfast is chosen to host flagship cyber security conference

NCSC chief executive Lindy Cameron, originally from Northern Ireland
Gary McDonald Business Editor

BELFAST'S reputation as an emerging global cyber security hub has been rubber-stamped with the city's award of a major international conference next year.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), part of GCHQ, have confirmed that its flagship CYBERUK event, which will bring together key figures from local industry, government, will take place at ICC Belfast on April 19/20 next.

The conference will be centred around the theme of ‘securing an open and resilient digital future', with Northern Ireland a fitting host given its position as a global hub for cyber security innovation and expertise.

Northern Ireland is home to 4 per cent of the UK's cyber security workforce despite representing 2.8 per cent of the UK population and has a strong track record of attracting significant overseas investment in its growing cyber security industry.

In recent years the region has become a hotspot for international cyber security firms, including leaders such as Proofpoint, IBM Security, Rapid7, Imperva, Anomali, Contrast Security and Cygilant and an established location for cyber security development by leading international firms such as Allstate, Aflac and Citi.

CYBERUK has become a key fixture in the cyber security community's calendar, with more than 2,200 attendees taking part in the most recent summit in Newport.

NCSC chief executive Lindy Cameron, originally from Northern Ireland, said: “I'm delighted to see our flagship CYBERUK conference come to Belfast for the first time, recognising its position as a global cyber security hub.

“The launch of CYBERUK 2023 marks an important milestone on the journey to next year's event, which will examine how we can secure our digital future in the face of the challenges and opportunities posed by technological developments.

“Belfast will be a fitting host for what promises to be a great event and an essential opportunity for the cyber security community to work together towards securing an open and resilient digital future.”

Under the golden thread of ‘securing an open and resilient digital future', the conference will be centred around three key themes:

• How a strong ecosystem can deliver a resilient society

• Understanding threats, risks and vulnerabilities we face

• Gaining technological advantage with our friends and allies

The NCSC supports the Government's commitment of 5,000 cyber security professionals in Northern Ireland by 2030 and the £2.6 billion National Cyber Strategy which is protecting and promoting the UK online and making the digital economy secure for people and businesses.