#CyberFest Tees Valley

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This week we have had two firsts in Dynamo’s history. On Thursday we had the first event we have held on Teesside, or Tees Valley as they prefer to call it. On Friday we held our first event in Northumberland, at the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult centre on the banks of the river Blyth. I’ll come back to this one later.

Dynamo North East is the organisation that is trying to grow the IT industry across the region yet it has been predominantly focussed around Tyneside and Wearside. Yes, there has been a conference in Durham but never as far south as the Tees even though the five boroughs have a major role to play in the local economy.

CyberFest then was a great way to kill two birds with the same stone. It provided another cyber event as part of the festival and it gave us a test of the appetite for more such events in Tees Valley.

Unlike the event at Northumbria University, we went for a half day, firstly as it would have been easier to fill and it would be cheaper to hold. We need not have worried as turnout was great. Teesside University kindly gave us accommodation and refreshments and we had a wide range of speakers that gave perspectives from technology, the law and academia.

The highlight of the morning however was the three Teesside University students from their ethical hacking society. Gareth talked about how antivirus vendors detect malware, while Callum talked about Open Source intelligence. Tom talked about social engineering and showed us how the human is the weakest link in any security systems. They were so excited to present at the event and the audience loved them.

Ensuing we have a strong supply of high quality students is one area in which Dynamo’s CyberNorth workstream wants to make a difference and the students showed us that we have some great talent here already.

Tees Valley #CyberFest was the third successful event in the festival. It gave us a great platform to build future events on Teesside and I’m looking forward to working with the University and Digital City on the next one.

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