Prepared by Oscar Michel, Masters in Journalism, DCU, interview with David Keating, security specialist, DataSolutions.

DataSolutions, the specialist IT solutions distributor, will host its fifth annual Secure Computing Forum in the atmospheric Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Thursday, 21st September this year. More than 300 IT and business professionals are expected to attend one of Ireland’s largest IT security events.

When is it on?

The Secure Computing Forum will take place in the atmospheric Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Thursday, 21st September this year.

How many years has it been going?

This year marks the fifth year of the Secure Computing Forum and it promises to be the best one yet, with more than 300 IT and business professionals expected to attend what is one of Ireland’s largest IT security events.

What was the inspiration to start it?

The inspiration to start the Secure Computing Forum stemmed from the identification of the fact that, despite cybercrime being such a major issue, there was no dedicated cybersecurity conference in Ireland. DataSolutions wanted to fill this gap and ensure that Irish IT and business professionals were educated and aware of the growing threat of cybercrime, and equipped with the knowledge and tools to defend against this threat. This clearly struck a chord with attendees that first year, and the event has grown in scale and ambition every year since.

What exciting things can people look forward to for the 2017 version?

This year’s Secure Computing Forum will focus on a number of topical issues, including fighting ransomware and cyber extortion, all aspects of cloud security, AI, making sense of GDPR and securing the Internet of Things (IoT). As well as this, there are a number of exciting keynote speakers at this year’s event, including: David Blunkett, former UK Government Home Secretary and chair of the International Cyber Security Projection Alliance and current honorary chair of the Cyber Essentials Direct Ltd; Jenny Radcliffe, an expert in social engineering known as ‘The People Hacker’; Misha Glenny, award-winning writer and broadcaster, and author of the book McMafia, The Globalisation Of Organised Crime; and Maya Horowitz, head of the Threat Intelligence Group, Check Point Software Technologies.

What opportunities are on offer for people / startups / investors and companies attending?

DataSolutions’ Secure Computing Forum will aim to foster dialogue amongst key security players in Ireland and provide best-practice advice to companies seeking to defend their interests from cybercrime. Event attendees will be able to avail of the opportunity to network with senior IT decision-makers and other professionals, and gain valuable insights into key information security trends.

What tips would you give to people attending to get the most out of it?

First of all, attendees should do their best to attend as many of the talks being given this year, by both the keynote speakers outlined above and the other event speakers. As well as this, attendees should take the opportunity to ask questions of the experts at the event, and gain first-hand advice of how to protect their interests. DataSolutions’ key sponsors will be exhibiting at this year’s event and there also be a dedicated partner hub. Attendees should absolutely take the chance to talk to these security experts and gain insight into best practice approaches to safeguarding their assets.

How can people book tickets / when does it usually sell out?

People can register for the event now at Tickets are very in-demand, so those interested in attending should register sooner rather than later.

8. Anything else you’d like to add / we should have asked?

This year, leading IT vendor Check Point will return as the host sponsor of the Secure Computing Forum for the fifth year running, while the event will once again be hosted by David Keating, DataSolutions’ own head of security.

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