2023 AHECS Cybersecurity Summit - wrap up

AHECS was established in 2018 to collectively address the growing cyber security challenges faced by the higher education and research sector. The initiative pulls together member institutes and sector partners (i.e., not-for-profit sector service providers that support cyber security capabilities). This approach collectively and collaboratively addresses activities that would benefit from the combined resources, skills, capabilities, and leadership to “lift all boats on a rising tide” and to continually improve sector cybersecurity maturity. The 2023 AHECS Summit was the second year that such a collaborative event has been held. The event aims to be a member’s event; to lay bare fruitful discussions, sharing’s, and learnings. This can only be made possible by offering knowledge, experiences, and thought-provoking points or concepts from talented speakers; every presentation at the event created discussion and left lasting and challenging considerations for audience members.

Almost 200 people attended the 2023 AHECS Summit, which included over 100 sector delegates from over 30 institutions and sector partner organisations. Our keynotes James Kay, Acting Assistant Director-General, Incident Management Branch - Australian Cyber Security Centre, and Marnie Hughes-Warrington AO, Deputy Vice Chancellor: Research and Enterprise & Standing Acting Vice Chancellor, University of South Australia; both who left plenty of time to answer some hard-hitting audience questions. Other keynotes included Dr Dennis Desmond, former FBI turned academic, Cyber Sociologist Kylie Watson, and former Detective Superintendent and Commander of Queensland Police's Fraud and Corporate Crime Group and Chair of the Australia New Zealand Police Advisory Agency’s eCrime Working Group, Brian Hay.

The Summit covered a range of topics including burnout, cyber strategies, identity, governance, incident response, foreign interference, and cyber awareness. The high quality of speakers is what made the event special – it was truly a by the sector for the sector event, with over 20 speakers from Member institutions sharing their experiences.

Quotes from attendees included: 
The best cybersecurity conference I’ve ever attended
Every single session was valuable and engaging
'This has been the most professional event of the year that I have attended, and I was very impressed by the quality of the talks, sessions, and most importantly, the high quality of the attendees from almost all of the key universities.'

This years Summit also included Partner sessions, which provided an opportunity to connect with AHECS partners to discuss services, and sector needs.

We are very grateful for everyone who was involved in the success of this event: whether you attended, presented, sponsored, helped plan, or assisted behind the scenes, because of you this event was truly special; Thank you!

AHECS 2023 Summit Speakers:
Anna Aquilina, Chief Information Security Officer, University of Technology, Sydney
Aram Raof-Karim, Information Security Manager, University of Canterbury
Asif Gill, Head of Discipline Software Engineering, University of Technology Sydney
Brian Hay APM, former Detective Superintendent and Commander of Queensland Police’s Fraud &Corporate Crime Group and Chair of the Australia New Zealand Police Advisory Agency’s eCrime Working Group
Corien Vermaak, Director, Regional Sales, Cisco
Dave O’Loan, Head of Cyber Relations, AARNet
David Cottingham, Chief Executive Officer, Airlock Digital
Dan Maslin, Group Chief Information Security Officer, Monash University
Dr Dennis Desmond, Lecturer, Cyber Security, University of the Sunshine Coast (former US Army Special Agent, FBI Special Agent and Special Agent with the Defense Intelligence Agency)
Dushyant Sattiraju, Manager, Cyber Security Operations, Deakin University
Edward Messina, Assistant Chief Information Security Officer, Monash University
Jack Cross, Chief Information Security Officer, Queensland University of Technology
James Kay, Acting Assistant Director-General, Incident Management Branch, Australian Cyber Security Centre
Jon Bentley, Security Incident Responder, AARNet
Karl Sellman, Chief Information Security Officer and Associate Director, IDS Infrastructure, Flinders University (Chair, AHECS Executive Steering Committee)
Kumesh Naidoo, Cyber Security Architect, University of Technology Sydney
Kylie Watson, Cyber Sociologist
Professor Marnie Hughes-Warrington AO, Deputy Vice Chancellor: Research and Enterprise & Standing Acting Vice Chancellor, University of South Australia
Mike Holm, Senior Manager, AusCert
Nadia Taggart, Chief Information Security Officer, Western Sydney University
Nick Rossow, eResearch Technology Portfolio Manager, Australian Access Federation
Nikki Peever, Director Cybersecurity, CAUDIT (Director, AHECS)
Raj Udayanga, Manager CSOC, Monash University
Rudo Tagwireyi, Director, Connectivity, Digital Security & Risk (CISO), University of Canterbury
Suthagar Seevaratnam, Chief Information Security Officer, Australian National University
Umair Zia, Head of IT Assurance and Cyber Security, University of Otago
Yeshaswini Ramesh, Head of Network Operations, REANNZ

The AHECS Cybersecurity Summit was sponsored by: Abnormal Security, Airlock Digital, Armis, AWS, Axonius, BeyondTrust, CI-ISAC, Cisco, Cloudflare, CrowdStrike, Cybermindz, Division 5, EduLAB, Elasticsearch, Fortinet, Insight, Maser, Mimecast, Mitratech/Alyne, MyCISO, Palo Alto Networks, Protecht, Sailpoint Technologies, Saviynt, Vectra AI, Waterstons.

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Original Publish Date

20 Nov 2023



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AHECS Summit

AHECS acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the lands where we live, learn and work. We pay our respects to Elders past and present and celebrate the stories, culture and traditions of all First Nations people.