Chair: Martin Gill

Mike Bluestone (UK) – Director of Security Consulting, Corps Security
Chris Cubbage (Australia) – Director and Executive Editor, My Security Media Pty Ltd
Mark Folmer (Canada) – Vice President, TrackTik 
Monica Verma (Norway) – Board Member, CSA Norway and Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) 

Key points

In this engaging webinar you will witness discussions about the ways technologies can be good and bad for security.  Mike Bluestone refers to this as a ‘surreal time’, while Monica Verma warns us to ‘anticipate chaos’. It is important to take time to consider the limits of technology, and you will witness interesting discussions about, for example: people and organisations relying on it unwisely; purchasers not knowing enough to buy the right technology; it not working or being difficult to deliver or to integrate; and crucially offenders exploiting it.  

Monica Verma, who started her career as a hacker and was a consultant talks about the limits of technology in terms of the imperfections of the internet, of software, which makes things easier for offenders. No wonder she should emphasise cyber resilience, and the need for timely attention to detect, respond and recover, reminding us the attackers are on systems for 300 days. You will, I am sure be interested in her comments on cyber warfare.

Chris Cubbage also addresses the help technology offers offenders. This is crucial because as he says technologies touch many parts of business operations, and he identifies security, safety and privacy as the key issues that govern its effective use. He offers interesting insights on the role of different technologies in the areas of surveillance and recognition, domes with robotics catching up in importance, and cyber with data being a central focus, with military and space technology being another area to watch.

The international dimension emerges in several discussions. The panel discuss trust, and how much can be placed in foreign governments and companies to develop secure technologies, just for example it is noted that some Asian countries have greater faith in official polices and in a different way a better cultural understanding of pandemics based on prior experience. Certainly, ‘no one size fits all’.

Mark Folmer notes that the security sector is behind the curve in digital transformation, where profits are squeezed only some companies are geared up to benefiting from the advances, although for those that are embracing technology it has been effective in supporting front line security operations with for example, real time analytics and being able to support locales from remote locations. Mike Bluestone likewise offers insights on how technology can help. For example, he emphasises the benefits in looking at the impact of technology during the lockdown and then in the aftermath, it will be different. Other points discussed include: the increased reliance on remote monitoring, the involvement of mobile and static guards, the increased opportunities for hand-held devices which can measure human temperatures to determine who can enter buildings, and enforcing social distance requirements.

There is more besides, the importance of training, understanding value, improving customers’ awareness, successfully integrating people and technology for sure. What we learn is that technology is offering real opportunities for enhancing operations but not everyone is on board, as Mark Folmer and Mike Bluestone note, only some are geared up to maximise the advantages. Meanwhile enterprising criminals are exploiting weaknesses. Technology is important but it is far from an unqualified good. 

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