Government Minister for Cyber, Viscount Camrose, made history by addressing the North East’s leading cyber security conference, Aspire CyberFest 2023. This marks the first time a Government minister has addressed the conference.
Aspire CyberFest, organised by Aspire Technology Solutions and CyberNorth, is the flagship event in CyberNorth’s #CyberFest programme. Bringing together over 350 business leaders and tech experts from the region, the conference provided a comprehensive program aimed at helping companies enhance their security measures and defend against the ever-evolving threat landscape.
#CyberFest is the North East’s month long cyber security festival, featuring a range of event throughout September. Organisers expressed their delight at the collaboration and impact the festival has had on the region’s cyber security landscape, with over a thousand representatives from businesses, governance, industry, academia and schools participating in events across the region throughout September.
Before addressing the audience at Aspire CyberFest, the Minister met with regional cyber security leaders to discuss the challenges being faced, and the potential to grow the cyber and digital sector to unlock new jobs and investment across the region.
During his speech, Viscount Camrose pointed out the vital role played by the North East’s cyber cluster, CyberNorth, and local tech companies, such as Aspire, in fuelling the growth of the region’s cyber sector, before laying out the government’s plans to develop technologies with greater security, and the focus on international collaboration to develop a world-leading cyber sector in the UK.
Cyber crime is currently estimated to cost UK businesses over £13 billion each year. With the frequency and complexity of cyber-attacks ever increasing, it’s more important than ever for businesses to take action.
Building digital and cyber skills is a key focus for the government as part of the £2.6 billion National Cyber Strategy to protect the nation online, and the Minister’s address touched on the government’s efforts to ensure people across the country have the tools and knowledge they need to tackle cyber threats head on.
During the conference Viscount Camrose put his computer hacking nous and cyber knowledge to the test in the ‘BattleBots arena’ – a robot wars-style interactive game which brings together cyber security and hardware skills.
The North East is one of the UK’s cyber community’s major arteries and is the only place outside London to boast two Centres of Excellence in Cyber Security Research at Northumbria University and Newcastle University, leaving it well placed to lead the charge in encouraging people across the region to take up careers and build skills in cyber.