Are we going to go back?

BSides Gates
That was last year

#CyberFest 20 is finally underway. After months of thinking about it, in what has been the strangest of years, September is finally upon us and as we all know now,  September is #CyberFest.

Putting the events on takes some effort and I am glad that I have some help. Clare at Beaconhouse Events helps me enormously to pull it all together and turn interested people into attendees. The first event though wasn’t down to me at all. Ben and Sam have been the driving force behind BSides Newcastle. 

Originally this was going to be a three day event (isn’t that a gymkhana?) and we were thinking of having it at the Wylam Brewery but something got in the way. In the end it was a fantastic two day online extravaganza.

My involvement was small. I chaired a panel session, which in amongst a very technical crowd, was about the sum of my ability. The panel included Pete from Pulsant, Sam (yes that Sam) from Exabeam and Martin from the NEBRC. We talked about the pandemic and how our world had changed almost overnight and how maintaining security was at the very heart of our activities during the seismic shift from office to home working.

We talked about how each organisation had adapted to the changes, with its technology, its people and of course its customers. If anyone was, then the managed service providers should have been in a good place to make the shift yet it was the scale rather than the technology that caught them out. Nobody expected something many of us have been talking about for years to happen overnight.

Even the Police have had to change. Obviously frontline policing has had to carry on as normal yet many of the support roles have been able to move to WFH. I was surprised, somewhat naively, to find that hacks are even attempted on police systems but I guess in for a penny.

My last question to the panelists was ‘Are we going to go back to the way we were before the pandemic?’ to which I got a resounding no. All of us, me included, are hoping for a mixed work environment where you can work where you are most productive. Sometimes that is at home and sometimes it’s not.

Anyway, we will see.

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