This is just a short end-of-term note to all our membership to thank everyone for your amazing support to SASIG during what has been a very difficult year for us all. Last Friday’s Christmas Natter was our 200th online event since lockdown, where more than £6,500 was raised for NSPCC’s Childline – a most generous effort by all those who attended.
SASIG has adapted well to the online format forced upon everyone by the Covid-19 crisis. Since March, our membership has increased by a third to more than 5,000 and it continues to grow daily. Over the past 8 months, 13,500 visits have been made to our programme of daily webinars representing 3,200 members. We know, too, from the wonderful feedback we get, that SASIG has been an important support network to many of our members over lockdown, and that the SASIG spirit has only strengthened during these strange times; for me, this is reward enough.
The challenge now is to further enhance our members’ SASIG experiences wherever possible:
1) Business as usual SASIG’s programme of daily online webinars will continue for the foreseeable, our schedule is already full till end-February ’21. My view, and most people I speak with agree, is that we won’t see people meeting together in earnest until 2022 – whilst some physical events may begin earlier (end-summer ’21?) I predict attendance will be low. Even when things do start to return to normal, events will be hybrid (physical and virtual). Since we’re all stuck in cyberspace for now, let’s make the most of the flexibility and variety it can provide.
2) Innovation I am determined to keep the momentum going, and to make the SASIG experience even more enjoyable and useful for everyone. In addition to our daily schedule, we will be delivering:
SASIG Academy – where members will be able to delve into, and build their knowledge and skills on, a particular topic. These are already underway and proving very successful. Watch the website for more details – for example, in a 4-part series in January we will be looking at “Effective corporate communications and public relations in response to a data breach”. In February we will be looking at cyber metrics and measurement.
Big SASIG – an annual 2-day cybersecurity extravaganza where users and suppliers will meet as equals. Big SASIG 1 will be virtual, held over the period 23/24 March 2021 and built on our own bespoke platform. Thereafter, it will be an annual hybrid event based in the UK. There is already strong support for this idea from our membership and planning is well underway. Save these dates in your diary!
o For SASIG members (CISOs and their teams, and others from Government, law enforcement and academia)
o 30 leading exhibitors from the vendor community (including our Supporters)
o keynotes from senior industry players, SASIG conference sessions, expert round tables on a wide variety of topics, and networking events
o exhibitor workshops, virtual exhibition, and personalised, one-on-one business introductions and discussions with exhibitors to discuss projects and to learn more about available products and services
SASIG Cybersecurity Skills Festival – to bring all parties together, breaking down barriers between those looking for both raw and skilled resource, those seeking employment in our industry, and those providing the necessary training and education. It will address one of our industry’s biggest challenges – celebrating our industry, finding the very best talent, and convincing them to join. In true SASIG style, this will be free for everyone to attend. In the first instance this will be a 1-day virtual event on 13 April 2021; post-Covid it will become a biannual hybrid event. Save this date in your diary!
Cyber Squad – our proposed documentary series about the world of cybercrime. Production is currently on hold due to Covid-19 but meanwhile are actively seeking a commission. Watch this space.
The Cyber OSPAs – The Outstanding Security Performance Awards (OSPAs) recognise and reward companies and individuals across the security sector around the globe. The OSPAs are designed to be both independent and inclusive, SASIG has supported them from their outset in 2017. The OSPAs have to date been focussed on the physical security environment. The Cyber OSPAS will now be launched globally; an awards ceremony is planned for Q4 2021. SASIG is committed to developing and promoting the Cyber OSPAs, an excellent and commendable initiative that will raise standards in our industry. We will be looking for SASIG members to nominate candidates for the many commendable categories.
As we approach Christmas, I and the team will be taking a break from the end of this week until the New Year. We’ll be back with renewed energy and an exciting schedule of daily webinars starting 5 January 2021. At this festive and reflective time, I would like to say my special thanks to our Supporters, without whom none of this would be possible. Also, to our long-suffering team, for their patience, for delivering every time, and for staying loyal to our mission. To our marvellous speakers who have presented so many interesting sessions since lockdown. And of course, to all those who have joined in and supported the daily webinars with such gusto and enthusiasm.
With my warmest regards and best wishes for Christmas and the New Year
Read more of Martin's Log
Thank you for reading my blogs. I’m getting quite old now, and hopefully I’m a little wiser than I once was. I have enjoyed a fascinating career full of fascinating people, and made many great friendships. I’ve made huge errors in my lifetime, and enjoyed great success too – it’s been the ultimate game of snakes and ladders - up and down, round and round. It is my privilege to share some of my stories with you, and describe some of the lessons I’ve learned in the hope that it may both save you from falling into the same holes, and help you in your careers and lives. Good luck and good fortune.