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Everything you need to know from CyNam 19.3

Author: InfoSec People

CyNam 19.3, the final headline event of 2019 took place on Thursday 10th October with a record turn-out. Focused on Operational Technology, “Virtual Threats, Operational Realities” dug deep into the very real, everyday threats facing organisations, both in and out of the cyber space. Very excitingly, over 70 students from local schools came along to learn more about careers in cyber, a great step towards addressing the need for engagement in the cyber sphere from a younger age and encouraging young people into careers in information security to help with the skills shortage across both the cyber and technology industries.

Here’s what you missed:

Simon Townsend, PWC – Simon Townsend opened his talk with “why is an accountant talking to me about Operational Technology?” A fair question, until you understand more about Simon’s background within cyber & GCHQ.

Simon spoke of his work to mitigate risks and create preventative measures in CNI. He also told us that the most famous SCADA in the world is Homer Simpson!

Connect with Simon here.


Neil Madden, ForgeRock – Neil Madden discussed Industrial IoT and the importance of understanding the growing risks surrounding this. Industrial devices are increasingly connected, so it is ever more important to understand what is connected and who or what is connecting them.

Authenticate all the things! Neil spoke of the importance of authentication and appropriate cryptography in preventing risks, along with the importance of eliminating insecure defaults, planning for upgrades and establishing trust. He’s also writing a book to be published next summer, which you can find here!

Connect with Neil here.


Tim Atkins, Cheltenham Borough Council – “Stop being good and strive for excellence”, Cyber Central is something which the team at CyNam is very excited about, and every time we meet Tim Atkins, he has more to tell us about the development. At CyNam 19.3 Tim spoke about just how integral Cyber Central will be to Gloucestershire and creating a future-proofed county with a thriving job market and genuine appeal for young people.

Tim envisages a space which he described as ‘not just another business park’, with a flourishing community and a design which may not be ‘Cheltenham-esque’. Innovation is what Gloucestershire needs in order to remain relevant, with focuses on carbon neutral space and modern design.

Importantly, cyber is crucial to the safety and success of all industry and Tim believes that this will transcend politics and Brexit, making now the perfect time to begin to focus more efforts on creating a truly world-class cyber hub in Cheltenham. This, Tim explained, is why the council spent £37.5m on a field!

Connect with Tim here.


Bruce Gregory, Hub8 – Another exciting fixture for Cheltenham’s dynamic cyber scene is Hub8, the newly opened town centre co-working space headed up by Bruce Gregory.

Boasting 7000sqft of the most innovative workspace in Cheltenham, Hub8 launched in September and is already so popular that Bruce’s team are planning their next venue, with plans to open in 2020!

You can find out more about Hub8 here and connect with Bruce here.


Thomas Ballin, Secarma – Thomas joined us for his first ever CyNam event to discuss both Secarma and BSidesCheltenham.

Secarma is a testing and training consultancy which ensures businesses digital infrastructures are secure from threats. Thomas told stories of his experiences in contextualising threats and the knowledge gaps we are still facing as an industry.  

BSides Cheltenham is part of one of the largest InfoSec events in the world and will be taking place on Thursday 5th December at The Queens Hotel. Find out more.

Connect with Thomas here.


Cavus Batki, EDF Energy – Cavus spoke to us about Hinkley Point C, a power station designed to significantly reduce carbon emissions. Beyond the positives, Hinkley Point C has faced its challenges from a security standpoint, including the changing political landscape and any number of balancing acts!

Connect with Cavus here.



We also heard from a couple of TOP SECRET specialists, but we can’t talk about that here. Join us at the next CyNam so you don’t miss a thing…