Sarah Gallear 1    

This Blog was contributed by Sarah Gallear, Warrington Borough Council and Chair of North West Warning Advice & Reporting Point,

After the dust has settled following on from the third information security conference, as Chair it is good to look back and reflect on the day. Once again, it was another successful event; I was pleased to see so many familiar faces from the iNetwork WARP and also plenty of new faces. 

The packed agenda for the day kept us all busy and there seemed to be something for everyone,  while the emphasis was on cyber security, it was recognised and needs to be remembered that it’s not all just cyber or information security and that good information governance practice also goes hand in hand with it.  With an ever changing threat landscape, we all need to be working closer together, it’s not much use having the most secure organisation if we’ve got disgruntled staff breaching the data protection act by targeting corporate data.

By being part of this event and having direct access to key speakers across a number of different organisations including the Information Commissioners Office, the North West Cyber Crime Unit, CERT UK and Government Digital Services, we had informative information and debate on the issues that are affecting us all and challenges we all face, whether we are local authority, blue light services or a housing association.

We cannot afford to sit back and rest on our laurels until next year’s conference though; we need to look at how to implement the new EU data protection regulations, what to have in place to prevent and handle a cyber attack, how to be more resilient as an organisation and to recognise that the threat is not always an outside source. Yes, it sounds scary but it’s nothing new, I like to describe it as the same threats we were aware of, just wearing a different coat.

So I encourage you all to keep networking with each other, keep those discussions up, engage with the North West WARP and if you’ve not joined the Cyber- security information sharing partnership (CiSP) yet, make sure you sign up. We have plenty of resources available to us and a great community so let’s make the most of it.