Monthly Archives: July 2013

Upcoming RANT Forum to focus on EU Data Protection Regulation

Next week’s RANT Forum will certainly feature one of the hottest topics in the IT security industry right now, as Sarb Sembhi, director of IncomingThought and chair of the ISACA GRA-SC3, will be presenting a talk on the EU Data Protection Regulation as well as other areas such as the state of the privacy policy in the US.

Prism has been a word on the lips of many an IT security specialist over the past month, with former National Security Agency (NSA) worker Edward Snowden revealing its methods of spying on citizens from all over the world.

Sarb is a well-renowned speaker and delivered an interesting talk at the RANT Conference earlier this year, which saw much interaction with the audience. It’s likely that this new talk will get the same reaction, with many professionals having a different point of view on the whole matter.

Since before the EU Data Protection Regulation was made available to the general public in January 2012, all the major US Service providers have been lobbying the EU to water down the provisions to protect EU citizens. Their point of view is that the costs to implement the provisions will hurt the consumer in the long-run.

This lobbying has been one of the most heavily funded of all time and makes you wonder how in light of the Snowden revelations that this might have actually been because it would make things difficult for the NSA, rather than just the providers.

Mr Sarb suggests that if the EU Data Protection Regulation is watered down, then there is no need for the service providers at all as the NSA will be able to store all the data.

This will naturally create a lively debate over the issue and people will be able to express their own opinions on what should be done, or not done, in an open and informal environment.

You can join us for the next London RANT Forum on Wednesday 31st July and as usual there will be plenty of food and networking opportunities on offer.

Those interested in attending this fantastic event should email Gemma Paterson on gpaterson@acumin.co.uk to be added to the guest list.

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Hundreds of security professionals flocked to the RANT conference in June

Acumin has been running its monthly RANT events for the last seven years and it all started from humble beginnings.

IT forums are nothing new, but when attending the ones available at the time, Acumin founder and managing director Simon Hember and the team noticed the real value in these gatherings was found afterwards in the bar where everyone would chat and really get to the hard truths in the industry.

As a result RANT was born, a conference that would create a relaxed atmosphere to allow every attendee to get involved, bring forward their ideas and challenge the views of even the highest ranked security professionals.

Like the IT security industry itself, RANT has grown substantially over that seven year period and now sees hundreds of professionals turn up to network with one another and enjoy a few drinks afterwards – some things never change!

The last RANT conference featured some fantastic keynote speakers including Mark Stevenson from the League of Pragmatic Optimists and it even had some quirky aspects thrown in like a University Challenge competition, which saw the Royal Holloway University bring some of its brightest and best students to face off against the industry’s best professionals in a battle of wits.

Bruce Hallas, information security and risk management specialist at the Analogies Project, was in attendance and spoke of the reasons why he chose to be part of it.

“The whole concept of flipping it around so that you have the bar discussion on the stage I think was innovative, it’s unique, I haven’t seen that before and that was one of the reasons I was compelled to get involved,” he said.

Some of the hottest topics in the information security industry were discussed and debated upon at the event, in what was a wonderfully relaxed setting in London.

Gemma Paterson, marketing manager at Acumin, said: “RANT offers a completely different take on the standard security conference. We want people to feel relaxed, we want people to feel like they have the power to be able to stand up and say exactly what they’re thinking.

“So you might have a panel on stage of the most senior security professionals and you still want the audience to be able to feel like they can challenge those views and put their opinions across.”

The RANT forums and conferences are expanding at a staggering rate and with the sector changing so rapidly there’s always something to rant about. It brings together some of the best thought leaders from around the world and opens up massive networking and learning opportunities for professionals within the industry.

To see more from the event, you can check out the video content from the event here.