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24 October 2019

The ThirdSpace Summit 2019: Two jam-packed days of identity and security

  • Cyber security
  • Identity and access management
  • Azure AD
Alastair Rees - Head of Marketing and Alliances.
Written by Alastair Rees

At our biggest and best Summit yet, attendees were treated to the very latest ideas, trends and technologies changing the identity and security space.

Once again, the ThirdSpace Identity and Security Summit (hosted at Microsoft’s UK HQ) brought together over 200 of the UK’s brightest IT minds to enjoy industry leading keynote speakers, in-depth workshops and, of course, the infamous ThirdSpace ping-pong tournament!

The Summit’s jam-packed agenda included senior keynote speakers from Microsoft and the wider identity and security industry, real life client case studies and 16 deep-dive workshops. Sessions covered cloud identity, passwordless authentication, identity governance, Azure Sentinel, information protection, Advanced Threat Protection, mobile security and so much more…

The Summit – Summed up

There were more than a few highlights from this year’s Summit but let’s look at the key moments:

Keynote takeaways

Day one kicked off with some excellent insight from Microsoft’s very own Alex Simons – Corporate Vice President of Identity Program Management. Alex took delegates through Microsoft’s cloud identity roadmap with Azure AD, providing useful insight on how similar organisations are transforming their identity approaches.

Alex gave us a sneak preview of exciting new solutions, ahead of their official release at Ignite in November 2019!

Diana Volere, Saviynt’s Chief Technology Evangelist, complimented Alex’s session perfectly. Diana offered delegates a closer look at how Saviynt’s Identity Governance and Administration (IGA) platform interlinks seamlessly with Azure AD to provide fine-grained application-by-application access control – providing a ‘single pane of glass’ view across multi-cloud and multi-tenant estates.

Sian John kicked off day two’s keynote sessions talking about Microsoft’s holistic approach to security, and how organisational digital transformation is really pushing the boundaries of cyber security.

She educated delegates on the risks and solutions brought about through the exponential increases in the threat landscape as organisations move more and more services to the Cloud. Sian also introduced our delegates to Azure Sentinel, Microsoft’s newest SIEM tool for security and threat detection using machine learning and AI.

Azure Sentinel will enable organisations to effectively visualise threats and learn from ‘insights’, rather than digging around amongst huge data sets for potential threat indicators. It will also help organisations automate their threat responses, for faster remediation.

“Feedback on the keynote sessions from our sponsors and delegates was hugely positive, with many finding real value in the new solutions and information presented.”

Lookout’s Senior Director, David Richardson, then took the stage to tell us all about the newest developments in the mobile threat landscape. He told us why attackers value and target mobile phones so much.

He also scared us a little with his comprehensive breakdown of just how advanced phishing and spoofing attacks can look when dealing with ‘nation-state’ level advanced persistent threat (APT) attacks.

Closing the keynote track was Clare Johnson – Head of Cyber Security at the University of South Wales. Clare offered our delegates some useful insight into new student ‘apprenticeship’ style work experience options, that UK organisations should consider in order to combat the widening cyber security skills gap.

Feedback on the keynote sessions from our sponsors and delegates was hugely positive, with many finding real value in the new solutions and information presented. It’s all very exciting stuff, and you’ll be able to relive these keynotes on-demand very soon.

Workshop wonders

Delegates were spoilt for choice with over 16 customisable deep-dive workshop options. Here are some of the highlights…

Dave Guest and Simon Veale talked about planning your long-term identity strategy, as you transition from on-premises to hybrid to fully cloud-based environments. Their informative session covered user provisioning, providing appropriate access and, of course, identity governance.

Marcus Idle ran two very informative sessions on Azure AD’s B2B and B2C offerings. He took delegates through detailed demonstrations on how organisations can correctly set up their partner access and customer portals to offer best-in-class security protection and collaboration opportunities.

Mat Richards and Microsoft’s Clive Watson took a room full of inquisitive security pros through a detailed review of Azure Sentinel. Clive took delegates ‘under the hood’ of the new tool showing them how Sentinel works in minute detail and illustrating how automated response programs and the brilliant security dashboard can really help to quickly visualise and deal with threats in real time.

From the people side we also showcased our technology adoption and change management services. Harini Bandara ran a Technology Adoption Services workshop and presented some fundamental ways for getting ‘employee buy-in’, as part of any new tech deployment.

She provided a poignant reminder that many (even IT pros) can easily forget that successful technology deployment stems from your workforce gaining real value and willingly taking part.

Here at ThirdSpace, we continue to help our clients with all these important (and often highly complex) challenges everyday – simplifying the enablement of people, while maintaining control over identities and security.

Thanks to our sponsors

It’s not just the keynote presentations and workshops that our delegates found useful. We were joined on the day by five key sponsors – all offering real added value services to identity and security professionals.

Saviynt spoke with delegates around their innovative IGA solution and its deep integration with the Microsoft platform.

Lookout took attendees through their cloud solution for detecting and remediating against the latest (and scariest) mobile and end-point security threats.

Yubico provided insight into the cutting edge possibilities of passwordless authentication via the FIDO2 compatible YubiKey solution.

Software IDM showed delegates the ‘art of the possible’ when it comes to cutting edge, user friendly identity management and reporting consoles.

And last, but not least, Oxford Computer Training were on hand to offer advice, support and training for the many infrastructure architects present, looking to hone their skills with MIM and Azure AD.

We had a smashing time…

It wasn’t all work, work, work.

Sandwiched in between the two Summit days, we took the time to unwind with lots of pizza and Ping-Pong. 32 contestants battled it out to win the coveted ThirdSpace trophy.

Massive congratulations to David Grain from Kingfisher who scooped both the award and the 12 month bragging rights.

Eyes to the horizon…

With the Summit over for another year, we’re already thinking about how we can top it in 2020!

Keep an eye out for new details as and when they’re released, as well as an early opportunity to secure your spot for next year’s summit!

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Alastair Rees - Head of Marketing and Alliances.

About Alastair Rees

Head of Alliances

Al has been in the IT industry for 20 years and is still excited by the pace of change and technological innovation that steers our personal and professional lives. Al’s role as alliances lead is...


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