Andy Bates Global Cyber Alliance Cloud Expo Europe 2020
NAYOKA OWARE [00:00:13] Hello and welcome to day two of the London tech Show 2020 by CloserStill Media. I’m Nayoka Oware hosting for Disruptive Live. And today I am joined by Andy Bates, the Executive Director, UK Middle East and India of the Global Cyber Alliance. How are you doing, Andy?
ANDY BATES [00:00:32] I’m really good, thanks. How are you?
NAYOKA OWARE [00:00:33] I’m very well, thank you. How are you finding the event so far?
ANDY BATES [00:00:36] It’s good. We had a really good interactive session earlier on today, and I’ve got a keynote coming up after this around deception and IoT. So it’s quite rare to get to use the word deception and anger at these kind of events. So this intrested on the on the feedback and the audience reaction.
NAYOKA OWARE [00:00:51] Wonderful. We’ll talk a bit more about that a little bit later on. Tell us what your job role entails.
ANDY BATES [00:00:57] So exec director of Global Cyber Alliance. So we’re an international not-for-profit, so an NGO, a charity effectively. My job and our job is to fight cybercrime on the Internet. Put simply, and I guess if the follow question were, how do we do that? We’re given money by altruistic donors. As happens with charities. And we make free solutions and the solutions are free, easy to use private, multilingual and globally applicable. And we find that small to medium businesses tend to embrace those kind of things and they’re the kind of, I guess, poor relations of the cyber industry, there’s not a lot happening to protect those kind of folks.
NAYOKA OWARE [00:01:30] That’s wonderful to hear. Tell us about the general state of global cybercrime.
ANDY BATES [00:01:36] Well, I think cybercrime exceeded physical crime. So what we would understand as the crime, the police and law enforcement deal with probably in around 2015. I mean, one of the challenges of crime is that it’s not an easy thing to gather statistics on. If we all knew where all the criminals were, then life would be easy for police. And so it’s growing at a double digit growth rate. And there, you know, there are no countries on the planet today that are growing at double digit growth. So in many ways and one of the themes I want to pick up in a keynote later is that it’s a bit like we’re at war with someone except for that someone isn’t a country. It’s a kind of invisible enemy. So one of the challenges for the planet and for the kind of good folks, I guess those of us on the on the sides of good is that, so when you’re fighting an invisible enemy, most of the structures of the planet don’t really work too well. So it’s time to think differently in many ways, which is kind of why I get out of bed in the morning.
NAYOKA OWARE [00:02:26] Thank you for that. Is this your first year here at the London Tech Show?
ANDY BATES [00:02:31] Yes, I think we were here a couple of years ago, but it’s the first year in a where we’ve had such a such an inform presence, I guess.
NAYOKA OWARE [00:02:38] Okay. What has been the highlight of the event for you so far?
ANDY BATES [00:02:42] I suppose to be slightly topical with corona virus being in the news. It’s good to see that the events going ahead because so many other things have been cancelled. It’s good to see the interaction and the people who are here. And I think one of the things with the a not as full event as would normally be the case is the ability to have some more intimate discussions and, you know, being able to really get to the issue. So how long does it take to set up 30 business meetings, whereas if you can have 30 business meetings here at Excel, that’s superefficient for everybody I guess so so in many ways, that’s a silver lining on a cloud that’s out there on the planet at the moment, I guess. But I think that’s just kind of stood out for me. And as I said this morning, you know, really good interactive session maybe with a more intimate audience, to put it that way. The first session of the morning, it was just really great just to get people to ask questions about IoT, which is what we’re talking about. We were looking at consumer IoT and what we do in the cyber space. So good to test some things with the audience, which we often don’t get to do and good to be able to answer some people’s questions, I think I think a bunch of people certainly went home a little bit safer than when they came in in the first place, which is again part of our mission.
NAYOKA OWARE [00:03:49] You mentioned that you’ll be speaking earlier. Can you tell us a little bit about what you’ll be sharing with the audience?
ANDY BATES [00:03:55] You mean later? Okay yeah. So warfare, one of the big things in warfare is deception. So that’s why camouflage exists. So in the conventional world of cyberspace, let’s say somebody gets a virus, somebody finds out to solve the virus and then everybody’s protected. But there’s always, that time between the start of the campaign and when people get protection. So in the industry, we call that zero-day. So there’s a an amount of time, a bit like the Corona virus, where we’re exposed to something for which there isn’t the problem. So one of the things in the IoT space we’re doing is we built a thing called a honeypot. So honeypot thing, honey trap. What it does is it allows the bad guys to attack a our environment. So we get to learn about the bad guys modus operandi, the way they work for want of a better word. And that means we’re kind of ahead of the curve. So we always talk in law enforcement circles and cyber about always being behind the curve compared to the criminals. Get in ahead of the curve. You know, imagine if you knew when somebody was going to burgle your house, your response would be a lot different than, oh, no, my house has been burgled. I’ll phone the police. So many ways it’s flipping that round. It’s without getting into, you know, in terms of future crime kind of space, it’s it’s fooling the bad guys into attacking something that doesn’t matter too much, but it informs the good folks about the way forward. In a nutshell,.
NAYOKA OWARE [00:05:09] Thank you for that. Lastly, what was the biggest challenge you faced in this role?
ANDY BATES [00:05:14] If I can be really blunt, I think it’s apathy. So I thought that effectively selling free solutions would be one of the easiest jobs on the planet. But as everybody knows, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. So when we say a solution is free at point of use, there’s often complexities around implementation. You know, somebody has to dedicate their own resource or cost to be able to do that. So to say something’s completely free is is obviously not not the full conversation. But yeah, when we talk to small businesses, they are so busy with things that they have to do, employing their staff, pay wages, pay their tax bill, normal day to day stuff. That when you arrive and say, here’s something free that stops the bad guys stealing your money, it’s actually low down the priority list until the day when their money has been stolen. And then suddenly it becomes the most important thing. So, yeah, we’re making headway. But I think the general apathy in the marketplace where people aren’t used to this thing is an issue. I guess the second issue is always been understanding. We in the industry make things really complicated. We talk in acronyms. We talk very geek speak. So we and I try and simplify that message as much as we can, which hopefully today’s an example. But once we’re through that, then it’s really just motivation it’s getting people to be interested. And again, when there’s a global pandemic running around the planet, then let’s be interested in cyber-crime kind of goes a little bit down down the layer.
NAYOKA OWARE [00:06:30] Which is understandable.
ANDY BATES [00:06:31] Yeah, absolutely.
NAYOKA OWARE [00:06:33] Thank you so much for joining me today Andy, it’s been a pleasure speaking to you.
ANDY BATES [00:06:36] Brilliant and you, thank you very much.
NAYOKA OWARE [00:06:37] You can join the conversation by using the hashtag Disruptive Live and hashtag CEE2020. Thank you for watching.