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10 17 2019

NATO cyber security conference concludes after record attendance

After three days of sessions, workshops and meaningful conversations in Mons, Belgium, our 15th edition of the NATO Information Assurance Symposium, or NIAS, has come to an end.

This year 1,845 registered for the symposium, and 75 organizations exhibited their latest solutions. Representatives from NATO, the Nations, think tanks, academia and industry shared their perspectives in sessions and panels, and in 30 interactive workshops.

"Technology, and how it becomes a force multiplier, has always been at the forefront of NATO's thinking," NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency General Manager Kevin J Scheid said in a keynote address on Tuesday. "Our vision for NATO is a fully digital NATO enterprise. And that requires technology, it requires expertise, but it also requires culture change."

On day two of the conference, Dr John Zangardi, Chief Information Officer of the United States Department of Homeland Security, gave a keynote address. Zangardi talked about how the Department of Homeland Security is looking to move to a strategy of risk management, instead of compliance. The Department is trying to ensure new solutions are secure, while getting capability out faster, Zangardi said.

"Checking a block for compliance doesn't work. But that's how government thinks in a lot of respects. We have spent a lot of time trying to change how we look at the world and our cyber security shop," Zangardi said.

Panellists in a discussion on the final day of NIAS discussed building and nurturing a tech-savvy workforce.

"Technology is the future, and everybody has to be involved," said Clare Hutchinson, Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security, NATO. "We need to tap into a diversity of thought which is beyond just a woman or a man."

And our conference concluded with a panel on how militaries are embracing cyber innovation.

"Innovation is an essential component of what militaries do each and every day," said MGEN Göksel Sevindik, Chief of Staff, NATO Communications and Information Agency. "They must not only prepare for threats they see, they know and they understand today, but think ahead to the threats they must face in the future."

During the conference, the NCI Agency also hosted four side events, including an insightful roundtable discussion on Small and Medium-sized businesses, and an excellent forum on space.

Thank you for joining us this year for this important discussion.

And consider joining us in Austin on 26-28 May 2020 for our industry conference.

NATO cyber security conference concludes after record attendance