Cybersecurity: What’s Real, What’s Not and What’s Next? (20th Feburary 2018)

Over the past decade or so we have become increasingly dependent on technology in our daily lives; this has opened us up to a much foreseen and somewhat dystopian threat – that of ‘cybersecurity’.

While in the late 1990s and early 2000s cybersecurity only seemed an issue for your company’s IT team, today it’s a multi-billion pound global industry that is expected to top £1 trillion by 2022.

Whether it’s an email scam targeted at individuals, a corporate data theft affecting millions of people at one time or a DDoS attack, the rise in cyberattacks and their increasing reach has made cybersecurity a focus of everyone’s attention to the point where we’re no longer so worried about someone stealing our wallet but stealing our entire digitised life.

Every day one hears of moral panics in business and outrage in society about ‘cybersecurity’. This talk will describe in outline what the real issues are – and why they’re real – and address some of the persistent myths around the subject.

Our Speaker will speculate on likely developments in the field – in terms of emergent technologies and their accompanying risks – and on the likely evolution of organisations, from commercial enterprises to national governments and individual consumers, as they move to mitigate these new risks.

Book here to hear our speaker – Henrik Kiertzner – give examples of cybersecurity developments, realities, truths and myths and shed some light on the evolution, challenges and solutions that will arise.

About our Speaker: Henrik Kiertzner

Henrik Kiertzner served in the British Army worldwide for many years, as a linguist and intelligence specialist.

Since leaving the Army in 2000, he has been, variously, IT Director of an international engineering consultancy, a security and risk consultant in both real-world and cyber domains and now makes a living discussing and delivering analytics and big data solutions to cybersecurity challenges throughout EMEA.

Among his proudest achievements are co-authorship of the security strategy for the London Olympic Park, authorship of a national border security strategy for the last-but-two government of a now failed state and the specification and delivery of a security architecture supporting a NATO nation’s newly-deployed battlefield management system.

Henrik prides himself on using his linguistic skills to interpret between suit and t-shirt. He is a Fellow of the British Computer Society, a Chartered Information Technology Professional, a Member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology and holds a valid Cycling Proficiency Certificate.


Beyond the AI Hype: Or is that just a Chatbot winding us up? (21 November 2017)

Globally-renowned scientists and entrepreneurs have warned of the immensity and immediacy of threat from AI. Prof Stephen Hawking said in 2014 “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.” But is this a real concern or hyperbole?

Since that first alarming statement, Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, and dozens of artificial intelligence experts signed an open letter on artificial intelligence calling for research on the societal impacts of AI. The letter affirmed that “society can reap great potential benefits from artificial intelligence, but called for concrete research on how to prevent certain potential ‘pitfalls’: artificial intelligence has the potential to eradicate disease and poverty, but researchers must not create something which cannot be controlled.”

Continue reading

Blockchain: Transparency Vs Privacy (17 October 2017)

Can we have both?

There is no doubt that Blockchain is a powerful technology: it can change classic business models and add to them the vision of a new economy – in fact, it’s already done that.

Blockchain platforms allow us to build fully transparent and distributed applications. They also eliminate business and political risks associated with centrally managed entities by reducing the need for trust between counterparties.

However, when Blockchain products are discussed two primary issues are always mentioned: scalability and privacy.
Continue reading

Art and Digital Culture (19 September 2017)

Will AI and blockchain bust the art price boom but save the art world?

In the 1990’s, the advent of online price databases for works of art sold at auction changed the industry forever; art buyers could search online for the price history and purported provenance of their desired masterpiece prior to purchase, disrupting the entire value chain that had existed for more than 250 years.

As a result of this new-found transparency in pricing, art as an investment has boomed: art funds have been established, contemporary art market prices soared and the auction market almost tripled from $17.2bn in 2005 to $45bn in 2017. Recently, a Jean Michel Basquiat painting – ‘Untitled’ – sold for $110.5m – until May this year it had been in the same private collection since it was bought at auction in 1984 for $19,000, a rise of nearly x6000 in 33 years!

Continue reading

Real Time Computing: 50 Years On and 50 Years Hence (27 June 2017)

In 1967 an American entrepreneur with experience in the emerging field of ‘real time’ data processing arrived in the UK, intending to set up a software house. He was keen to plug into the local network of people who shared a common interest in the applications of this new technology, and organised a dinner for that purpose.

The evening was a huge success. Held on the 27th June 1967 in the Bourbon Room of the Institute of Directors’ headquarters on Belgrave Square, it was attended by twelve leading entrepreneurs and academics in the fledgling British computing industry. After dinner, each person described his interest in real time data processing and the group agreed to a subsequent meeting to discuss particular problems over a good meal.

From this unassuming start, the Real Time Club was born. The first speaker was a young, energetic genius who is our esteemed speaker this evening.
Continue reading

The Many Faces of Intelligence (23 May 2017)

Presentations & Panel Discussion

Intelligence manifests itself in a variety of ways. This panel will discuss the many faces of intelligence – whether natural or artificial – from both scientific and philosophical points of view.

Connections will be explored between intelligence, information, language, the emotions, and creativity amongst other things, and an attempt will be made to sketch, however roughly and incompletely, some of the features of the landscape of intelligence.

Continue reading

Einstein’s Greatest Mistake (18 April 2017)

Creativity in Changing Times

There are many great minds, but Einstein is in a class above almost all others: up there with Newton, Da Vinci, Bach, and perhaps the greatest genius of all time.

In this talk the esteemed writer David Bodanis looks at how Einstein’s creativity appeared: how it was sustained by humour and religion; how much it depended on his unusual career path as well.

David explores the profound mistake Einstein made at the peak of his powers which would tear apart his life, and lead to decades of near isolation.

Continue reading

Personal Data as an Asset Class (17 January 2017)

Making money and Dodging risk

Yahoo has “lost” a billion personal accounts, but today this is little more newsworthy than a slight increase in shoplifting at Tesco, big data breaches are so frequent. Yahoo is lucky that this didn’t happen under the new GDPR where they could be suffer a fine of 4% of their total global turnover. However, it certainly calls into question their purported acquisition price of $4.8bn and gives them the challenge of increased customer churn. In the UK, is the well reported TalkTalk hack a turning point for the board’s focus on the effectiveness of their cyber security solutions and response?

Continue reading

When Bits Hit the Fan (18 October 2016)

The UK government’s Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) was built by Chris Gibson to coordinate the vast horde of suppliers, old and new technologies in critical infrastructure across government departments both high profile and deniable.

We are delighted to welcome Chris as our speaker for the second of our “Autumn of Discontent” Real Time Club dinners held in the National Liberal Club in Whitehall.

Continue reading