Event details

According to the Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2024 half of businesses and a third of charities suffered a cyber breach or attack in the past year. Public Sector organisations are no exception to these attacks. Recent cyber-attacks on various public sector organisations have made national news, heightening public concerns about the safety of their personal data held by these organisations. These concerns are valid, given the critical role public sector organisations play in delivering essential services and the sensitive nature of the data they handle.

The UK cybersecurity sector is experiencing remarkable growth and development, generating over £11.9 billion in the past year—a 13% increase from the previous year. Despite this progress, a recent report from the Cabinet Office estimates that cybercrime costs the UK £27 billion annually. This highlights the significant impact cybercrime has on not only individual victims but organisations as well.

With technological advances and the growing emphasis on digital transformation within the public sector, these organisations must ensure they leverage technology advancements like AI while prioritising cybersecurity.

Register now for this virtual conference to learn how the public sector can embrace technological advances and digital transformation while prioritising cybersecurity as the most important aspect. Explore the challenges faced by public sector organisations and discover effective solutions to cybersecurity issues through thought-provoking panels with industry experts.


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  • 08:30 AM - 08:45 AM


  • 08:55 AM - 09:25 AM

    Secure by Design Digital Transformation

    Councils collectively spend around £1-2 billion annually on IT, with up to £1 billion maintaining outdated systems, according to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. "Secure by Design" can range from entry cameras with poor passwords to a company-wide file system which aren’t protected by two factor authentications. Cybersecurity is crucial in any organisation's digital transformation journey. Due to poor integration between legacy IT and modern security solutions, public sector organisations are vulnerable to cyberattacks, causing millions in recovery costs.

    Join this panel to explore how the public sector can be secure by design, using cybersecurity as a foundation for digital transformation.

    Jonathan Pownall
    Jonathan Pownall Senior Digital Specialist National Audit Office

    Jonathan is a digital specialist at the National Audit Office and has over 20 years' experience of assessing digital and technology programmes in the central government sector, including the management of associated technology risk.

    He is a contributing author to numerous NAO reports including Digital transformation in government, Challenges in using data across government, Digital transformation in the NHS and The challenges in implementing digital change.

  • 09:35 AM - 10:05 AM

    Safeguarding Data

    Data protection in the Public Sector requires a comprehensive approach combining legal frameworks, technological solutions, staff training, and continuous monitoring. Recent cyber-attacks have heightened public concerns over data safety. Measures to ensure data privacy and security include adherence to the Data Protection Act 2018, data classification, restricted data access, cyber hygiene, employee training, regular reviews, and incident response plans. Challenges include outdated infrastructures, increasing vulnerabilities, human errors, skill gaps, lack of leadership, resistance to digital change, and expanded risks due to remote working.

    The panel will discuss the challenges public sector organisations face currently with the security of data and ask if the current safeguarding methods are adequate, and if there are improvements needed, and if so, what could those be.

  • 10:40 AM - 11:10 AM

    Cyber Resilience

    Cyber resilience enables organisations to protect against, detect, respond to, and recover from cyber-attacks. Preventing attacks is key; the UK Gov Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2024 found that 97% of breaches could be prevented with modern cyber services. Withstanding attacks requires identifying and safeguarding key functions, as cybercrime costs the UK up to £4.6 billion annually. Recovery should focus on swiftly and safely restoring major functions to not disrupt delivery of public services to the community's organisations serve whilst putting in place protection from further attacks.

    Join this panel to understand the four key steps of cyber resilience—Prevention, Withstanding, Recovery, and Adaptation—and how public sector organisations can use these steps to prevent cyber-attacks and enhance security.


  • 11:45 AM - 12:15 PM

    How to Tackle Social Engineering

    A social engineering attack involves psychological manipulation to trick users into revealing sensitive data. According to the 2024 House of Commons Research Briefing Report, 95% of cyber-attacks succeed due to human error, including actions like opening malicious attachments and using weak passwords. Phishing is the most common type of attack, affecting 84% of businesses and 83% of charities, where attackers use techniques to deceive targets into opening harmful attachments or following malicious links.

    Join this panel to understand how social engineering work and what can be done to prevent. The discussion will cover initiatives like workforce training and preventive measures to safeguard against these threats.

  • 12:25 PM - 12:40 PM

    Keynote - Simon Salmon, Head of IT, Nottingham City Council

    Simon Salmon
    Simon Salmon Head of IT Nottingham City Council

    Simon has worked in cyber security for over twenty years, heading up security across government and commercial sectors. Simon led one of the first successful global implementations of the BS7799 security framework (now ISO27001) and worked as Head of IT Security for England’s ninth-biggest city. With a diverse academic background spanning business, accountancy, and a distinction award in his Master's degree in Computing, Simon also holds over thirty certifications related to IT and cyber security. Simon is a certified lead auditor, forensic specialist, and malware inspector and holds CISSP/CSSLP/CGRC/CCSP. He has a background in using digital to tx has worked as a director, head of IT, and operational technology lead for various companies. He is a content author for multiple organisations, supported the creation of the Certificate in Cyber Security, and contributes to the CISSP certification. Simon is the Head of IT for Nottingham City Council, a director of a public-sector ISP, and a trustee of an academy.

  • 12:50 PM - 13:20 PM

    AI Innovation and Safety

    The Cabinet Office’s Central Digital and Data Office, in collaboration with the Department for Science, Innovation & Technology and HM Treasury, is developing a strategy for AI adoption for the public sector. The strategy aims to make the UK public sector a leader in safe, responsible, and transparent AI use to enhance public confidence in AI-transformed services, equip public servants with the necessary tools and skills, and improve efficiency and productivity in public organisations. The strategy will be laying the groundwork for future technological innovations to bring the public sector into future.

    Join this panel to discover how public sector organisations can maximise AI innovation to ensure safety and security across all public sector organisations.


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