Cybersecurity to headline GMIT digital conference

Galway daily news Ransomware a growing threat to small businesses

Cybersecurity will be the talk of the town at the annual GMIT Digital West conference taking place next week.

Leaders in public and private sector organisations along with academics will share cybersecurity and trust stories at the online conference on Tuesday, January 25.

The past two years has seen online security come into greater public focus than ever before, in no small part due to the COVID-19 pandemic sending so many working from, communicating online in ever greater numbers, and even schools forced to operate remotely.

In the same period there has been a worrying increase in large scale cyber attacks in Ireland and around the world.

Ireland was particularly affected by a cyber attack on the HSE last May, which caused serious disruption to health services nationwide as computer systems had to be taken offline while it was fixed.

Galway was also affected by an attempted cyber attack on NUIG’s systems last September, which caused severe disruption to digital services for staff and students.

Dr Orla Flynn, President of GMIT, said “GMIT is delighted to be hosting the 5th annual Digital West conference in partnership with the Mayo Local Enterprise Office and our Atlantic Technological University partners IT Sligo and Letterkenny IT.”

“The theme of this year’s free online conference – Cybersecurity and Trust – has enormous relevance for public and private sector organisations but also for us as individuals in society.”

The free and publicly open conference will take place online on on Tuesday, January 25 from 10am until 1pm.

According to the “ENISA Threat Landscape 2021” report, statistics reveal that 68% of business leaders feel their cybersecurity risks are increasing, an that personal data was involved in more than half of cyber attacks in 2020.

Andrea Manning, Founder of Cyberpie and MC at Digital West 2022, says: “Cybersecurity is no longer just an IT problem. It affects us all.

“Whether it’s a ransomware attack that hits the payroll software that sends you your salary, the takeover of your social media accounts or the loss of customer trust due to a data breach.”

“As an industry we should be doing more to educate people about what they can do rather than what they can’t do. The panel of speakers at Digital West this year does just that.”

Dr Flynn will open the conference, and will be followed by guest speakers Dr Eoin Byrne and Eamon Larkin, Cyber Ireland; Aoife Long, Cyber Skills Education and Public Engagement Manager, MTU; Mathie Gorge, CEO at VigiTrust.

It will also feature Dr Seamus Dowling, Cybersecurity lecturerat GMIT; Paul Johnson, Cyber Forensics Manager for AGS; Colm Healy, Founder and CEO of Corrata; Louise O Sullivan, Security Services Manager; Lei Shao, Security and Risk Advisor at HEAnet; and Rebecca Springett, Titan HQ Leading Cloud Security.