HCR are long-term sponsors of CyNam events, which connect talented cyber security minds and local SMEs with valuable knowledge, advice, services and business opportunities. CyNam is an independent, Cheltenham-centric platform enabling networking, innovation and collaboration for the cyber technology industry, with an aim to establish Cheltenham as the cyber hub of the UK.
CyNam Director, Chris Dunning-Walton, provided us with a round-up of their first event of 2023.
CyNam 23.1: Emerging Technologies
CyNam hosted our first headline event of 2023 on 23 March at the ever-fantastic Pittville Pump Room in Cheltenham, welcoming over 400 people to an event exploring cybersecurity and emerging technologies (EmTech).
What are emerging technologies and why do they matter to us in Cheltenham? An emerging technology is one that is still under development and whose practical applications are yet to be realised. It is expected that Emerging Technologies, or EmTech, could bring great benefit to society to solve some of our greatest challenges and bring significant economic growth.
However, EmTech may also disrupt existing economic markets and bring unintended social consequences that were unexpected. In order to understand more about EmTech and the issues for our cyber ecosystem in Gloucestershire, CyNam curated and hosted this incredible event in Cheltenham.
We were joined by a plethora of impressive speakers including our opening keynote by Jonathan Luff, Co-Founder of CyLon. Jonathan provided a whistle-stop tour of where we are on a global scale in terms of technology advancement, nation states, global conflict, collaboration, autocracy vs democracy, post-truth narrative, the investment landscape and what possibilities exist for quantum, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and EmTech against this backdrop.
Our other speakers included Ramy Shelbaya of Quantum Dice, Daniel Cannon of North Green Security, and Amy B from the government. Their key takeaways included:
- Quantum computing will fundamentally change encryption and lead to post-quantum encryption, quantum key distribution and new random number generation. But quantum is also already here! Quantum Dice’s system is currently being used to secure trusted encryption on a secure communications project in the UK
- Artificial Intelligence is changing the world. ChatGPT was a hot topic with both benefits and challenges. AI is getting smarter, moving from reactive AI to limited memory, theory of mind, and finally, self-aware capabilities. How we best utilise and regulate AI will be key for the future
- Semiconductor hardware security is now very much available and a crucial part of the development process to enable secure solution provision.
The whole event highlighted how EmTech is at an incredibly exciting stage – and the world is poised at a tipping point where we have a choice. We can utilise it for the greater good such as optimising workforce efficiencies, developing cybersecurity practices or tackling global issues such as climate change or future pandemics. Or we could see Quantum and AI used to erode trust, control the oppressed and potentially even threaten democracy itself.
Where do we go next with EmTech and cyber? The CyNam community includes several companies actively engaged in EmTech development and we were delighted to showcase a few of those talented, passionate people on the night. There were lots of really great conversations at the event and I’m sure that many in the community will already have ideas for how to engage with the breadth and depth of EmTech in the coming months and years. Our events are only made possible by our fantastic sponsors, and we thank them for their ongoing support.
A link to CyNam 23.1: Emerging Technology can be found here.