//Blogs - 20 May 2022

It’s hard to believe that it’s already been a week since AusCERT2022 officially drew to a close.

The AusCERT team has been overwhelmed with the kind words and positive responses to this year’s conference which are always welcome and appreciated.

Of course, we wouldn’t be able to facilitate a conference of this calibre without the generosity and support of our sponsors and speakers. To all of them, we would like to say, “Thank you”.

We’ve already been asked for both sponsorship and speaking opportunities for AusCERT2023 to which we say, watch this space!

With over 800 delegates, both in-person and virtual, it certainly appears that there is no stopping Australia’s premier cyber security conference!

Our keynote speakers were certainly a highlight for many.

Following the two days of tutorials, we welcomed Kath Koschel to the stage to share her story of adversity and, inspiration.

Kath has faced serious personal, mental, and physical setbacks but her resilience has allowed her not only to overcome these challenges but also to see the good in the world when most others couldn’t. Kath’s emotional talk saw many with tears but also, smiles and resolve to each do #OneSmallAct of kindness every day.

There were a plethora of fantastic talks throughout the day but many had their focus on the gala dinner. Given it was our 21st anniversary, it would be remiss on our part to not feature a dancefloor – a first in the history of AusCERT!

If pictures speak thousands of words, the photos from the gala dinner would describe people that love to dance, regardless of actual ability in some cases! (you can check out some of the photos below!)

But before the dancing shoes were unleashed, there was the business of announcing this year’s recipients of our annual awards.

Once again, SANS sponsored the awards, providing each winner with a voucher for a SANS training course. The categories for the five awards are listed below, along with the deserving winners:

AusCERT Member Organisation of the Year

  • Warrnambool City Council

AusCERT Member Individual of the Year

  • Marcus Mroczkowski, Federation University

AusCERT’s Award for Individual Excellence in Information Security

  • Greg Sawyer, CAUDIT

AusCERT’s Diversity & Inclusion Champion

  • Aby Swabey, Source 2 Create

And a new award was introduced on the night, The Kyler Maher Award.

Kyle Maher tragically lost his life in November last year while competing in a superbike race. Motorbike riding was something he enjoyed, and something he actively mentored young/new riders in.

Kyle worked in cybersecurity for the Australian Government and was often sitting in the Brisbane JCSC where he brought his sense of fun, kindness, inclusivity, and knowledge to the industry and Government partners.

The award named in his honour recognises a person that consistently leads with empathy and shows a dedication and commitment to mentoring the next generation of cybersecurity professionals.

The recipient of the inaugural Kyle Maher Award is, Lukasz Gogolkiewicz.

Day two of presentations commenced with our international guest, Lesley Carhart, all the way from the USA!

Director of Incident Response for North America at the industrial cybersecurity company Dragos, Inc., Lesley leads the response to and proactively hunts for threats in customers’ ICS environments.

Lesley is known to many by her Twitter handle, Hacks4Pancakes, as she tweets prolifically about cybersecurity and posts pics of adorable animals (that recently included a koala!).

Lesley’s presentation, Uncovering the Invisible World of ICS Cybersecurity, was met with high praise and also, a few questions from our favourite MC, Adam Spencer, on IT IOT OT ICS, all answered with aplomb!

The conference concluded with the crowd favourite Speed Debate. Six topics were discussed including whether people, not machines are the future of cyber security and that there’s no need to worry about ransomware when insurance will pay!

Suffice it to say, there were some passionate arguments delivered with some humour, witty retorts, and the occasional fact!

After the debate, with scores tallied, there was a clear winner with four wins from four arguments – congratulations Lesley Carhart!

It was a wonderful way to conclude, four days of learning, collaboration, reconnecting and of course, fun!

AusCERT would like to thank all our delegates for continuing to support our conference and those that made the event possible. We hope you enjoyed your conference experience, and we look forward to having you join us again at AusCERT2023.