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Digital technology / specialisationCybersecurity
Digital skill levelAdvanced
Geographic Scope - CountryMalta
Type of initiative
Article by Claude Calleja published on The Sunday Times of Malta on 23rd February 2020
The eSkills Malta Foundation, partnered up with various stakeholders namely Keith Cutajar, an Information Security Consultant and Court expert, MITA, the University of Malta, MDIA, Cyber Security Malta and BCS to organise a conference on Cyber Security on 5th February 2020 at the Corinthia Palace Hotel and Spa. The Conference was well attended by circa 200 hundred delegates which are evidence of the increased importance of security is being given by all. The Conference was also supported and sponsored by some of the main players from Malta including the Malta Digital Innovation Authority (MDIA), Cybersecurity Malta, PwC Malta, Melita Data Centre, EY Malta.
The headlines are peppered with news of security breaches and incidents involving all types of organisations, from critical infrastructure to schools, hospitals and companies. Given the increasing frequency and accuracy of cyberattacks, implementing a solid cybersecurity strategy is critical. The internet can be compared to an intricate web of roads on a global scale with a set of common traffic rules to manage the network. A hacker is someone who tries to break through the defence of a specific network and exploit vulnerabilities in a computer system.
The conference featured talks by prominent personalities in the field including Ian Fish (BCS), Jean Michel Azzopardi (Kralanx), Donatas Mažeika (Europol), Mark Vella (University of Malta), Christian Colombo (University of Malta).
Ian Fish gave an interesting talk about the Pros and Cons of Security Management. Security management is the identification of an organisation’s assets (including people, buildings, machines, systems and information assets). This is followed by the development, documentation, and implementation of policies and procedures for protecting these assets.
Jean Michel Azzopardi, in collaboration with another remote speaker, spoke about the importance of Offensive Security and Penetration Testing. He gave an eye-opening presentation on the evolution of Ransomware, its risks and some guidance on how one can avoid them.
The Europol representative created a lot of interest due to its very central role on the subject of Cybersecurity. Donatas Mažeika tackled the importance of Incident Handling and Digital Forensics. Digital forensics is the collection and examination of digital evidence residing on electronic devices and the subsequent response to threats and attacks.
Two speakers from the University of Malta highlighted some of the projects that they are involved in, in collaboration with other partners. Mark Vella spoke about collecting lawful evidence and the importance of continuously developing and updating platforms as EU-wide automated case management for cybercrime. Christian Colombo talked about an interesting project involving the University of Malta, which deals with the Security Cryptographic Protocol Execution based on runtime verification.
A panel discussion with the participation of PwC, ISACA, University of Malta, MCAST and MITA, was led by Carm Cachia Chief Administrator from the eSkills Malta Foundation and dealt with the importance, training and continuous upskilling in the area of Cybersecurity notwithstanding the small Maltese ICT sector. The panel also discussed how Cybersecurity is included in the current University of Malta an MCAST Curriculums, the most popular ISACA certifications taken in Malta, and other ideas on how Cybersecurity can
Finally, in the afternoon, three parallel workshops were run in the areas of Security of DLT moderated by MDIA & Police Cybercrime Unit, Security of Internet of Things moderated by MITA and AI in Security moderated by MDIA & University of Malta & Police Cybercrime Unit. An overview of the main points of interest and outcomes from each workshop followed.
While thanking the partners, sponsors, speakers, and attendees, Keith Cutajar with the support of Carm Cachia, concluded the Conference by reminding the audience of the main themes of the Conference and highlighted the take-home points for the day.
The Conference was well received and exceeded everyone’s value expectations. As a second Cybersecurity Conference organised with success by eSkills Malta Foundation, the Conference brought a lot of value to the audience and looks forward to similar events on the subject.