EVENTS: Glasswall At Big SASIG 2021 – Key Takeaways From a Compelling Digital Experience

If you’ve yet to attend an online version of an event you might usually visit in person, it’s probably time to try. Take Big SASIG, for example, a networking forum and community event for the cybersecurity industry, which took place online this week and offered a great example of how to blend content and networking in a compelling remote experience.

The event played host to a wide variety of industry professionals, who were offered engaging content covering mainstream and niche cybersecurity topics, alongside issues where we all share an interest, such as wellbeing and health.

The Glasswall team was present throughout the two-day event. Our CTO/CISO, Dinis Cruz was joined by Mark Walmsley, CISO at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, for a workshop focusing on the importance of building a proactive defence to file-based cybersecurity threats. Here are our key takeaways from their discussion:

  1. Email and file-based threats continue to rise. Driven in part by the pandemic and switch to remote working, the risks posed by file-based malware are currently greater than ever. And it’s not just about the volume of attacks, but the sophistication of techniques, such as those seen in phishing emails, is increasing their reach.
  1. Antivirus and sandboxing solutions are no longer good enough. While AV and sandboxing solutions still have an important role to play, organisations can’t afford to compromise productivity or the exposure to risk they create.  Modern security strategies need more effective layers in order to defeat the threats posed by ‘unknown based’ vulnerabilities that can elude these defensive approaches to cybersecurity for days or even weeks.
  1. Proactive cybersecurity should be the core strategy for every CISO. Instead of waiting for a fix or a patch for each new and unknown exploit, security leaders should focus on creating IT environments where every file entering or leaving the organisation is reconstructed to its native, ‘known good’ format. This proactive approach, known as Content Disarm and Reconstruction (CDR), is inherently more secure and predicted to become mainstream technology in the next 3-5 years according to Gartner. 
  1. Security isn’t just about technology – it’s also about mindset. In most organisations, users are still required to make vital decisions about security – even though cybersecurity training is known to be ineffective. By adopting a mindset that focuses on proactively closing file-based cybersecurity blindspots, organisations can massively increase levels of protection without compromising productivity.
  1. Online events are here to stay. And finally, it’s worth commenting on the experience of attending a digital-only industry event. Far from being a substitute for in-person exhibitions, summits, conferences or seminars, the experience of attending Big SASIG underlined how effective digital events can be. As venues reopen and live, in-person events come back onto the calendar, the best will offer compelling experiences however people choose to attend.

For those unable to make it to Big SASIG 2021, the Glasswall workshop (along with every other virtual sessions) will be available for free on the event website until April 23rd (register here).

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