Cloud Security Challenges: Takeaways from the UK Cloud Security Summit 2018

Cloud security—and the IT security industry more broadly—finds itself at a crossroads in 2018. A constantly expanding and diversifying cyber threat landscape, nation-state involvement, legislative changes and a lack of resources (both financial and human) with which to react means cybersecurity has never been so important to all aspects of our daily lives online, as well as to normal business function across all verticals. It is in this climate in which Alert Logic (supported by AWS) hosted its annual Cloud Security Summit in the heart of central London last week. The day aimed at bringing together Alert Logic’s diverse portfolio of internal experts and customers to discuss pressing issues with the wider IT security community.

Cyber threats alert

The day started with a presentation from security veteran Graham Cluley who discussed the cyber threats your business is likely facing, and how you can fight back. With over 20 years’ experience in the IT security industry, Graham waxed lyrical on data breaches, data loss and cryptomining, peppered with fascinating, and at times terrifying examples—including hacks by the Syrian Electronic Army (who became less prevalent due to a contract signed with a victim. Maybe not the criminal masterminds people might assume!).

Better threat detection

Other speakers throughout the day attempted to provide ‘medicine’ for the pain Graham’s opening had caused. One such speaker was Matt Selheimer, Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer at Alert Logic, who spoke on the importance of Visibility: The Key to Better Threat Detection. Matt spoke about how the estimated 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity positions, expected to become a reality by 2021 still loom large over the industry, and how Alert Logic’s business model can leverage multiple experienced threat researchers, as well as comprehensive data gathered from the company’s 4000+ customers across the globe, in order to provide markedly increased cyber threat visibility capabilities. This was also underpinned by the responses from the audience to the polling question on security challenges they’re facing – 58 percent of respondents claimed limited security expertise to be their biggest IT security challenge, whereas 49 percent cited lack of centralized visibility.

Alert Logic’s Senior Director of Technology Services, Ryan Holland, also contributed to the debate, suggesting in his talk “The Biggest Cloud Security Threats are Self-Inflicted” that organizations that do not manage to engage in a company-wide strategy for configuration and patching are doomed to failure. Ryan cited the example of the recent Equifax breach – which blamed one of the worst data breaches in American history on human error, due to a lack of coherent policy.

Cybersecurity solutions - Don’t just take our word for it

The delegates were also treated to presentations that spanned the diverse client base Alert Logic has developed over the years. Customers from the worlds of debt collection, banking and equity crowdfunding took to the stage to tell the summit delegates about their specific business needs, challenges, and how Alert Logic cybersecurity solutions helped them—from hiring and monitoring issues to the legislative changes GDPR is ushering in, these speakers all made passionate cases for leaving cybersecurity in the capable hands of an experienced and professional organization.

The afternoon sessions proved just as illuminating, with attendees being provided a choice of breakout sessions to attend, offering insights from Alert Logic, as well as customers and partners, to discuss the management of advanced threat detection, tales of cryptomining from the security frontlines and insight into the risks and threats associated with threat hunting.

Hackers gonna hack!

The day’s activity culminated with a live hack demo – with Alert Logic’s Solution Architect Graeme McMillan taking the audience through a simulated three-stage hack demonstrating the impact of reconnaissance tactics, which provided less technical audience members with an invaluable visualization of an activity that seems abstract to most of the population.

All in all, CSS 2018 was a resounding success—an opportunity for the IT security industry to come together to network, discuss ideas, news and challenges emerging as well as to enjoy some excellent speakers who were able to illuminate even the most complex subjects. See you all again next year!

If you were not able to attend the Cloud Security Summit, you can see all the sessions at our Virtual Cloud Security Summit week commencing July 16.

About the Author

Tony Bradley - Senior Manager of Content Marketing for Alert Logic

Tony Bradley

Tony Bradley is Senior Manager of Content Marketing for Alert Logic. Tony worked in the trenches as a network administrator and security consultant before shifting to the marketing and writing side of things. He is an 11-time Microsoft MVP in security and cloud and has been a CISSP-ISSAP since 2002. Tony has authored or co-authored a dozen books on IT and IT security topics, and is a prolific contributor to online media sites such as Forbes and He has established a reputation for effective content marketing, and building and engaging a community and social media audience.

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