Cyber security is a fast changing industry with new threats and solutions appearing almost daily. Who knows what the future will bring as technology speeds improve and the way people interact with it evolves? 

In truth nobody can, though we can have some good guesses. Emerging technologies are bound to have an effect on security. Thoughts on how to make things safe often follow innovation as the initial attention is much more focussed on getting the idea off the ground rather than the way that people may abuse it in future. Vulnerabilities are built in unwittingly and addressing them could increase the cost to market.

Yet cyber security is all of our concern and getting it right early on in the process is far less costly than trying to solve it later down the line. But such later costs are likely to be picked up by others, or when the developing oragnisation has enough cash to deal with it. The problem the industry faces is that it is very difficult to imagine all of the ways that people will tinker with, mess about with and generally abuse the product it has developed.

It is vital though that those in the cyber security sector, especially those leading companies or responsible for research and development are at least cognisant of those technologies that are emerging or just over the horizon. This is why this year’s  #CyberFest has a good smattering of events around innovation. The three topics we are looking at are AI, IoT and Quantum Computing, technologies at various levels of maturity.

AI is on everyone’s lips and is something we should all try and get our  heads around. The event on 12 September ‘AI, The Fakes Just Got Real’ brings business leaders, academics and others interested in AI around the table to understand better what research is telling us and how we can combat the threat and make AI work for good. The event on 14 September ‘Cyber Intelligence Alliance September Conference’ has a panel session on the threats and opportunities of AI for businesses?

The Internet of Things (IoT) has been around for some time now, though many of the devices installed (there are billions around the world) are legacy and built without proper security. Many such devices pose a hidden threat to businesses. The event on 13 September ‘Coffee Cake and Collaboration’ looks at some ‘hidden’ threats in the Internet of Things (IoT) and Cyber Physical Systems (CPS). This is an opportunity for collaboration between academia and industry, over cake and coffee of course.

While still mainly theoretical, Quantum computing is being talked about more and more with a considerable amount of research underway. The event on 14 and 15 September ‘Newcastle Post-Quantum Security’ provides an interdisciplinary forum to discuss academic and industrial research advances in quantum computing and post-quantum cyber security. Academics should attend on the 14th while Friday is open to the business community as well.

#CyberFest is on from 5 to 30 September and the full programme can be found here.