CRESTCon Europe 2023: Unveiling the Thriving World of Cybersecurity and Networking

CRESTCon Europe 2023: Unveiling the Thriving World of Cybersecurity and Networking

Meredyth Grant

Our roving reporter Rachael Bailey (also known as TechVets’ Training Specialist) was unleashed again to discover CRESTCon Europe 2023. Here’s her latest dispatch.

One conference, three streams and a beautiful location. I’m talking about CRESTCon Europe held at the Royal College of Physicians in London on 18th May 2023. If you’re interested in Penetration Testing or Threat Intelligence and Incident Response, then CRESTCon Europe is the place to learn what’s new and what to do.

Not my first CRESTCon

Last year I attended my first CRESTCon and my first industry event. I received the ticket through TechVets and this also kicked off my career with TechVets.

A few days before attending CRESTCon 2022 I had applied for the Training Specialist role through the TechVets Discord server, so attending the event was the first time I met TechVets’ Programme Director James Murphy in person.

This was an additional reason for why I wanted to come back to CRESTCon , along with the amazing CREST team who offer great advice and guidance to everyone that approaches them, the quality of the talks and the really nice food…

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This year’s event helped me to recognise how much I had actually learnt in the last year. I didn’t think it was much until I sat in the welcome talk and understood everything that was said, which I didn’t at CRESTCon 2022.

Companies vs Talks

There were less companies on stands then there were at CRESTCon 2022, however, it was good to see that UK Cyber Security Council were there, and that the other companies there were smaller companies, showcasing their importance as much as the big well know companies.

I like getting to know the smaller companies that are in the industry. They might be offering similar products and services to other companies, but the smaller companies have a unique perspective as they are relatively new in their journey. This offers their employees the opportunity to experience that growth, and what is involved in the process. This will provide an insight that you might not get within a large company.

The talks, as always, were great and were split into 3 different streams, Penetration Testing, Threat Intelligence & Incident Response, and Industry & Regulator. Although I had not necessarily heard of a lot of the speakers, it doesn’t mean that they weren’t worth listening to, but more that the cyber industry is so large, that it can be hard to keep track of everyone involved in it.

This can be a good thing – you might not necessarily know the speaker but might get an understanding of the content from the title. For some of you that have been to other events, the title doesn’t always point you in the best direction. This can, however, land you in a talk that you might not have ordinarily gone to and you can learn a lot from that – especially when you find that you are interested in a subject but never knew it.

New companies, new potential

There were many companies exhibiting that I hadn’t heard of before. This is good news for the TechVets community. If we can’t get our members direct opportunities through a formal relationship with companies, then we (as a collective TechVets community) can at least learn more about what a company does and potentially recommend that company to the community as a possible employer which aids in signposting.

For anyone that knows me well, I am a fan of people watching, and attending these events gives me the best opportunity to feed this addiction. I often wonder if people behave differently when they are on their stands, grabbing a coffee or lunch. If I’m honest I haven’t met anyone that behaved differently. I think this could be down to the people in this industry wanting to be here. You don’t typically just fall into a job in the cyber world without having to sit certifications, do a fair amount of research, or at least commit a fair number of hours into your learning. I think this resonates when you chat to other cyber professionals and that, for me, feeds my hunger to be in the cyber world more.

My final words of advice

If you get the opportunity to attend an event like this – take it. You don’t know where it will lead you or what opportunities it will open up for you.

Get to know the speakers; you might be working with them one day, or at least you might want to, they also have knowledge that you one day might want to ask them about.

Try to set a goal and break it into smaller achievable goals so you never lose focus. Have a plan for what you want to achieve from the event, for example, you want to learn more about Penetration Testing. The smaller goals could be attending certain talks and connecting with the speaker or talking to four companies exhibiting there. Prioritising goals helps highlight the important goals.

The attendees of these events are just as important as the companies on stands. The person next to you could work for one of your dream companies and offer insight into that company that the internet can’t give.

They say networking is great and it is, sometimes just saying hello and putting yourself out there is all that is needed.

Until next time . . .

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