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Ireland's first CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team)



Registration for IRISSCON 2021 is now open!


Check out the IRISSCON 2021 Date and Venue, COVID19 Protocols, Speaker Lineup, Agenda and Conference Sponsors below.


The IRISSCERT Cyber Crime Conference (IRISSCON) will be held this year on Thursday the 18th of November 2021 in the The Aviva Stadium, Landsdowne Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, Ireland.  This is an all-day conference which focuses on providing attendees with an overview of the current cyber threats facing businesses in Ireland and throughout the world and what they can do to help deal with those threats.


Experts on various aspects of cyber crime and cyber security share their thoughts and experiences with attendees, while attendees will also have the opportunity to network with like minded individuals.


The conference is open to anyone with responsibility for securing their business information assets. There is a nominal fee of €50 per person attending to cover the costs of catering and other organisational expenses.


An annually held conference, IRISSCON is an opportunity to not only increase your knowledge but also to meet and network with your peers in a relaxed environment. Here is a video giving an overview of IRISSCON.



Cyber Security Challenge

In parallel to the conference, IRISSCERT also hosts Ireland's premier IRISSCON Cyber Security Challenge. The challenge allows Ireland's top cyber security experts to compete against each other in a controlled environment to see who will be the first to exploit weaknesses in a number of systems and declare victory. The purpose of the competition is to demonstrate how attackers could gain access to your systems and allow you to learn from the event on how to prevent such attacks from impacting your network.


Registration for IRISSCON Cyber Security Challenge 2021 is now open!


Checkout the IRISSCON 2021 Date and Venue, Speaker Lineup, Agenda and Conference Sponsors below.


Date and Venue

Date: Thursday, 18th November 2021

Venue: The Aviva Stadium, Landsdowne Road, Dublin 4



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The event will be run in line with  the Failte Ireland guidelines for Business Conference and Event Venues and all people attending, either as delegates, sponsors, or as part of the conference, will need to provide proof of immunity of either vaccination or recovery from COVID19 within the previous 6 months.

During the conference we would ask that people practise social distancing, wear facial coverings, and regularly sanitise their hands.

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Speaker Lineup

Eugene Kaspersky, CEO, Kaspersky


Topic: Cyber Immunity for Cyber Age

The data-driven industrial revolution that is taking place right now is doing so more rapidly than any tech innovation in history and it is gradually impacting every sector of the global economy. With everything – and everyone – computerized, cybersecurity is one of the main concerns for numerous businesses and organizations.

Today’s cybersecurity is about more than just protecting endpoint devices – it is critical part of business and production processes. The current cybersecurity landscape requires a drastically different approach – a transition from ‘cybersecurity’ to ‘cyber-immunity’, where the cost of a cyberattack is greater than the cost of the damage. Information systems should be designed and built to secure an ecosystem where everything is connected.

Bio: Eugene Kaspersky is a world-renowned cybersecurity expert and successful entrepreneur. He is a co-founder and the Chief Executive Officer of Kaspersky, the world’s largest privately-held vendor of endpoint protection and cybersecurity solutions.

Eugene began his career in cybersecurity accidentally when his computer became infected with the ‘Cascade’ virus in 1989. Eugene’s specialized education in cryptography helped him analyze the encrypted virus, understand its behavior, and then develop a removal tool for it. After successfully removing the virus, Eugene’s curiosity and passion for computer technology drove him to start analyzing more malicious programs and developing disinfection modules for them. This exotic collection of antivirus modules would eventually become the foundation for Kaspersky’s antivirus database. Today the database is one of the most comprehensive and complete collections in cybersecurity, used in detecting and preventing systems from being infected by more than 500 million malicious programs.

Eugene has an Honorary Doctorate of Science from the UK’s Plymouth University. He regularly gives both lectures on cybersecurity at universities around the globe, and keynotes at leading conferences and industry events.

Eugene is both a passionate traveler and dedicated devotee of wild nature and adventure-tourism. He is also a talented photographer, which assists in his prolific chronicling of his exploits in his blog – from polar expeditions and glacier crossings to volcano scaling and jungle trekking.

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Ciaran Martin,

Professor, University of Oxford


Topic: Cyber Harms vs the myths.

In this talk we will focus on the reality of cyber harms as distinct from the myths, and talk about how organisations big and small can manage risk whilst getting on with the job


Bio: Ciaran Martin, CB, is Professor of Practice at the University of Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government. From 2014 to 2020 he set up and led the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre, part of the intelligence agency GCHQ on whose board he served. For the previous decade and a half he served in a variety of positions in the UK Treasury and Cabinet Office. He is originally from Tyrone the home of the All Ireland champions 2021.

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Jen Ellis, Vice President of Community and Public Affairs, Rapid7


Topic: Overview of the Recommendations of the Ransomware Task Force

In 2020, ransomware attackers made more than $350 million and caused terrible disruption, particularly in healthcare. Combating this blight requires a comprehensive, multi-faceted strategy adopted in collaboration by governments around the world. To this end, the Ransomware Task Force brought together experts from governments, private, and nonprofit sectors to identify actions that would help to disrupt, deter, prepare for, and respond to, ransomware attacks at scale. In April of this year, the Task Force issued its report, detailing 48 recommendations. This session will provide an overview of the recommendations, discuss the rationale behind them, and clarify next steps security *Where the opportunities are for jobs, both for new people and those seeking a career change


Bio: As vice president of community and public affairs at Rapid7, Jen Ellis is focused on advancing cybersecurity by building collaboration between the security community and those outside it. Partnering with security researchers/experts, technology providers/operators, civil society, and governments, Jen is committed to driving greater understanding of cybersecurity challenges and ways of addressing them. She is a nonresident senior fellow of the Atlantic Council, sits on the boards of the Center for Cybersecurity Policy and Law, I Am The Cavalry, and the Aerospace Village, and is a member of the board of advisors for the CyberPeace Institute and the Global Cyber Alliance. She has testified before U.S. Congress and spoken at numerous security or business conferences.

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Picture of Dr Victoria Baines from Bournemouth University

Dr Victoria Baines, Bournemouth University


Topic: A Cybersecurity Image(ry) Problem (and what we can do about it)


Abstract: Those of us who work in cybersecurity have become immune to the ways we tend to represent threats: military and fantasy imagery, acronyms, and fancy animals among them. How do these representations play out for so-called 'ordinary' people who don't share our specialist knowledge?

Based on new research into the rhetoric of cybersecurity, this talk combines a light-hearted critique of security jargon with serious analysis of its impact on protection from threats, and even who gets to work in cybersecurity. It doesn't have to be this way, and Victoria has ideas for how we might empower people to protect themselves and help solve our recruitment issues.


Bio: Dr Victoria Baines is a leading authority in the field of online trust, safety and cybersecurity. She frequently contributes to major broadcast media outlets on digital ethics, cybercrime and the misuse of emerging technologies, including Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence. Her areas of research include electronic surveillance, cybercrime futures, and security rhetoric. She also provides research expertise to a number of international organisations, including Interpol, UNICEF and the Council of Europe.

Victoria is co-host of the award-nominated Cyber Warrior Princess podcast, demystifying cybersecurity for a popular audience. She regularly addresses both specialist and non-specialist audiences, and has been named as one of the top 25 women in cybersecurity (IT Guru & SC Magazine).

For several years Victoria was Facebook’s Trust & Safety Manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa. Her work focused on operational support to law enforcement, and strategic engagement with policy makers on criminal activity online. Before joining Facebook, Victoria led the Strategy team at Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), where she was responsible for the EU’s cyber threat analysis. She designed and developed the iOCTA, Europe’s flagship threat assessment on cybercrime, and authored 2020, scenarios for the future of cybercrime that were the basis for a successful short film series of the same name.

Prior to this, Victoria was Principal Analyst at the UK Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), the forerunner of the National Crime Agency. She began her career in law enforcement in 2005 as a Higher Intelligence Analyst for Surrey Police. In 2008, the International Association for Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysts recognised Victoria’s work with a global award for outstanding achievement.

Victoria serves on the Advisory Boards of cybersecurity provider Reliance ACSN and the International Association of Internet Hotlines (INHOPE), and is a trustee of the Lucy Faithfull Foundation. She is a graduate of Trinity College, Oxford and holds a doctorate from the University of Nottingham, UK. She is a Visiting Fellow at Bournemouth University’s School of Computing, a former Visiting Research Fellow at Oxford University, and was guest lecturer at Stanford University in 2019 and 2020

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Black and white photo of Richard Browne looking out at the camera

Dr. Richard Browne, Acting Director, The National Cyber Security Centre


Topic: To Be Announced


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Black and white picture of Philipp Amann staring at the camera wearing white shirt

Philipp Amann, Head of Strategy, Europol's European Cyber Crime Centre (EC3)


Topic: How EC3 Supports Member States to Combat Cybercime

Philipp will briefly describe how Europol and EC3 support Member States in combating cybercrime and work with various stakeholders in collectively increasing cyber security and resilience. He will also provide an overview of the latest cybercrime threats and trends from a law enforcement perspective. Following this, Philipp will give some examples of how EC3 helps MS tackle cybercrime and the multi-faceted approach it uses to do so. The key messages will be that 

  • Cyber security and resilience require a joint and collaborative approach
  • Creating strong networks across different domains and sectors - including industry, the CSIRT community, academia and law enforcement - is essential
  • Law enforcement plays an important role in helping increase cyber security and should be seen as an essential partner

Bio: Philipp is the Head of Strategy at the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) and oversees the delivery of strategic and tactical cyber-security and cybercrime related products such as Europol's Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment. Other key areas of responsibility include the assessment of current and future technology trends, managing EC3’s industry advisory groups and academic advisory network, prevention & awareness, and capacity building.

Prior to that, he held positions with various international organisations such as the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the International Criminal Court, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization.

Philipp has more than 20 years of relevant experience in cyber security management, combatting cybercrime, policy development, digital forensics and the analysis and management of intelligence.

Philipp has worked in various fields, including the financial sector, global disarmament and arms control, international investigations and on issues related to safety and security in cyberspace, topics he deeply cares about. He is also a member of ENISA’s Advisory Group, the World Economic Forum‘s International Alliance against Cybercrime and Carnegie Endowment’s FinCyber Strategy Project.

His professional experience is complemented by a PhD degree and a Master’s degree in business informatics from the University of Vienna. He also holds an MSc in Forensic Computing and Cybercrime Investigation from the University College Dublin. 

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A picture of a woman of colour weating a blue polo neck jumper looking at the camera

Blessing Usoro, Information Security Manager at JPMorgan Chase & Co., Founder Cyber For School Girls, Co-Founder Cyber Women Ireland


Topic: To be Announced

Bio: Blessing Usoro is the founder of Cyber For SchoolGirls, a non-profit organisation that aims to bridge the vast gender gap between women and men in the cybersecurity industry. She works to support and encourage more schoolgirls to choose cybersecurity as a career. She co-founded Cyber Women Ireland, which also supports women in the industry. She’s an Information Security Manager at JP Morgan Chase. She helps businesses design viable security architecture and strategic solutions that protect them from unending cyber threats. She has appeared as a speaker at Slándáil: National Security Summit Ireland. She’s also been a subject matter expert on RTE1 National Radio and East Coast FM.

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 Colm Gallagher wearing a dark blue suit and light blue shirt in front of a green bush

Colm Gallagher, Forensics Director, Commsec


Topic: Eating Spaghetti with a Spoon

How non-standard procedures and the “wrong” tools for the job can sometimes be useful in getting better answers to puzzles. We rummage around in the forensic tool bag for some items which can be used to good effect outside investigations, and also have a look at using some forensic tools slightly differently within investigations.

Bio: Colm Gallagher is Forensics Director at CommSec Communications and Security. He previously served as a cybercrime investigator in the Garda National Cyber Crime Bureau. 


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Bob McArdle

Robert McArdle, Manager Threat Research Team, Trend Micro

Topic: From RATs to extorting multibillion companies: The evolution of a Modern ransomware group.

 Ransomware gangs are cybercrime enemy number one for businesses today. Gone are the days when you can hope for a flaw in their encryption setup that would allow for creation of a decryption tool. When combined with highly targeted attacks and the new added extortion of data leakage, defending against modern ransomware gangs is an extremely difficult task. In this talk we’ll examine the details of techniques, tactics and procedures of a ransomware gang active since at least March 2020, which despite some opsec failures, still manages to put more than 100 billion dollars of revenue at risk. We'll share the developments of the current investigations, trends and tools they use to compromise networks and victimise companies worldwide. Using this group as a case study for this entire trend, you’ll learn how groups like this operate, which tools they use, for which purpose, what to expect from this model and what weaknesses can be used to better defend your company against similar ransomware groups models.

Bio: Robert is the Director of Trend Micro's Forward Looking Threat Research team in Europe, where he is involved in analyzing the latest cybercrime threats, specializing in researching the future threat landscape, Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) and coordinating investigations with international law enforcement.

Robert is a regular presenter for the press and at security conferences. He also lectures in Malware Analysis and Cybercrime Investigations on MSc modules at Cork IT and University College Dublin (UCD). He worries that his hobby and job are one and the same, and constantly wonders if "normal" people have that problem.


When he had more time and a much smaller family, he was an avid security blogger, podcaster, speaker and conference organizer.


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A colour photo of a caucasian bearded man wearing glasses. he is wearing a white open necked shirt in front of a green lawn with trees in the background

Alistair Mills, Director, Sales Engineering, Proofpoint

Topic: Ransomware on the rise: What you need to know and how to combat it.

Ransomware is one of today’s most disruptive forms of cyber-attacks, putting victims out of business, forcing hospitals to turn away patients, and bringing entire city governments and municipalities to a standstill. Last year alone, organisations globally were victims of more than 100,000 ransomware attacks and the average ransom increased by 170% on the previous 12 months. Not only is it a top concern for CISOs, it has become a core security issue.   Join Alistair Mills, Director, Sales Engineering at Proofpoint will share:

  • Why ransomware remains a top cybersecurity threat
  • What ransomware trends Proofpoint Threat Research is observing across the globe
  • The three key ways ransomware threat actors get into your organization, and how to stop them


Bio: Alistair Mills is a Cyber Security Expert with over 15 years’ experience. He enjoys the challenge of running teams who work on complex technical solutions that help organisations to secure their data. Prior to Proofpoint, Alistair worked at Forcepoint, Symantec and Sophos.


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Picture of a bearded Joe Carson smiling at the camera in a light blue shirt opened at the collar. Joe is in front of a grey background

Joseph Carson, Chief Security Scientist & Advisory CISO | ThycoticCentrify


Topic: From Zero to Full Domain Admin: Tracking the Digital Footprint of a Ransomware Attack

Abstract: Follow in the footsteps of a cybercriminal and uncovering their digital footprint.  The real-world story of a ransomware attack that forced a business into a complete shutdown as a result of the Crylock ransomware.  This is a journey inside the mind of an ethical hacker’s response to a ransomware incident that brought a business to a full stop, and discovering the evidence left behind to uncover their attack path and the techniques used. Malicious attackers look for the cheapest, fastest, stealthiest way to achieve their goals.  Endpoints provide many opportunities to gain entry to IT environments and access sensitive information. This session will show you the attacker’s techniques used and how they went from zero to full domain admin compromise that resulted in a nasty ransomware incident. 

Learning Objectives:
•    How attackers gained access to systems.
•    What tools were used.
•    Backdoors created
•    Enumeration techniques
•    How "AD elevation" was achieved.

Bio: Joseph Carson has over 25 years' experience in enterprise security, author of Privileged Account Management for dummies and Cybersecurity for dummies, and is a cyber security professional and ethical hacker. Joseph is a cyber security advisor to several governments, critical infrastructure, financial and transportation industries, speaking at conferences globally. 


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Time Speaker
Talk Topic
08:30 Registration IRISSCERT Registration
09:00 Gordon Smith & Brian Honan MC
Conference Opening
09:30 Dr Victoria Baines Bournemouth University A Cybersecurity Image(ry) Problem (and what we can do about it)
10:00 Bob McArdle Trend Micro From RATs to extorting multibillion companies: The evolution of a Modern ransomware group
10:30 Ciaran Martin University of Oxford Cyber Harms vs the myths
11:30 Eugene Kaspersky Kaspersky Labs Cyber Immunity for Cyber Age
12:00 Dr Richard Browne National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC)
12:30 Joe Carson Thycotic Centrify From Zero to Full Domain Admin: Tracking the Digital Footprint of a Ransomware Attack
14:00 Philipp Amann Europol's European Cyber Crime Centre (EC3) How EC3 Supports Member States to Combat Cybercime
14:30 Blessing Usoro JPMorgan Chase & Co.
15:00 Colm Gallagher Commsec Eating spaghetti with a spoon.
6:00 Jen Ellis Rapid7 Overview of the Recommendations of the Ransomware Task Force
16:30 Alistair Mills Proofpoint Ransomware on the rise: What you need to know and how to combat it
Conference Close
Conference Close & Networking Event in the bar area
Conference Close & Networking Event

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Conference Sponsors


Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors IRISS is able to host this event. The following organisations kindly lent their support to our conference as Diamond and Gold Sponsors.

Diamond Sponsors


Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

Lunch Sponsors

ISI TI-Accredited WARP