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Global Cyber Conference in the Cybersecurity Special

Samir Aliyev, founder and CEO of the Swiss Cyber Institute, in an interview for the Cybersecurity Special by SwissCyberSecurity.net about the third edition of the annual international cyber security conference, the Global Cyber Conference 2024, in Zurich and the second Swiss CISO Awards. The event with a focus on Cloud Security, AI Security, Business Impact & Enterprise Strategy will take place this year on November 26-17, 2024 at The Dolder Grand.

What is the Swiss Cyber Institute and what does it do?

I founded the Swiss Cyber Institute (SCI) in Zurich in 2019 and today it is a cybersecurity education provider registered by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation SERI. With the goal of promoting cyber resilience, we offer comprehensive training programs, conferences and networking opportunities to empower individuals and organizations. We also organize the annual Global Cyber Conference with the Swiss CISO Awards, which brings together international cybersecurity executives, industry experts and academics in Zurich.

How did you come to found the Global Cyber Conference and what is your motivation for the highly topical subject of cyber security?

The idea for the Global Cyber Conference arose from the urgent need to create a platform where cyber security experts from all over the world can exchange ideas and network. At a time when digital transformation is progressing at a rapid pace and cyber threats are becoming more sophisticated, I saw a gap for an international discussion forum dedicated to these challenges. We want to create an open community in which knowledge and innovations in the field of cyber security are not only promoted, but also proactively driven forward.

What is your philosophy behind it?

The philosophy of the Global Cyber Conference is based on the three pillars of networking, innovation and security. Our vision is to position Zurich as a hub for cyber security, comparable to Davos in terms of global influence and collaboration. We firmly believe in the importance of building expertise and innovative partnerships that help to shape and secure the global digital future. Our aim is to create a dynamic environment in which experts and leaders from different areas – from business and science to government institutions – can come together. Through this collaboration, we want to build a global network of experts and decision-makers who will work together to tackle the challenges of cyber security.

You have already had two very successful conferences and the first Swiss CISO Awards with great feedback. Now you are coming up with an extended concept. What can we expect?

Imagine an event where over 70 world-renowned experts from different countries share their knowledge and insights. These high-caliber speakers offer deep insights into current and future cyber security topics. With over 60 individually designed sessions, participants can choose from a variety of topics that are perfectly tailored to their interests and needs.

The conference is also characterized by its remarkable global reach. With more than 350 premium participants from over 30 countries, a truly international network is being created. This offers a unique opportunity for competent exchange and networking with experts from all over the world.

An exciting new feature in 2024 is the Hacker’s Escape Room. Here, The Dolder Grand is transformed into an interactive experience that takes interaction and networking to a new level.

This year, you are offering six additional networking events around Zurich throughout the year as part of the conference ticket. What added value can you offer participants as a result?

This year we are offering our partners, supporters, speakers and attendees a unique platform throughout the year to build relationships and learn about the latest trends before the conference takes place. Each event is themed and includes a specialist presentation to create an inspiring atmosphere for open discussions and innovation.

  • March 12 – Star Magic Rendez-vous at Clouds, Prime Tower Zurich
  • June 20 – See Lights Soirée at the Fischerstube Zürihorn, Zurich
  • September 19 – Velvet Veil Vista at the Baur Au Lac, Zurich
  • October 23 – Cuvée d’Automne at the Mandarin Oriental Savoy, Zurich
  • November 26 – Exclusive Gala Dinner & Swiss CISO Awards at Aura, Zurich
  • November 27 – Sunset Closing Cocktails at The Dolder Grand, Zurich

Join us for this exciting journey! Secure your place today.

On November 26, 2024, the second Swiss CISO Awards, presented by EY Switzerland, will take place within the Global Cyber Conference. What are the requirements for a CISO?

This year, we are awarding prizes in four categories to recognize outstanding achievements in cyber security:

  • Swiss CISO of the Year
  • CISO for Digitalization
  • CISO for Culture and Diversity
  • Future Leader

To qualify for these awards, candidates must be based in Switzerland and work in the industry, specifically not for a cybersecurity solutions provider. You can find the other requirements for each category on our website.

What is the motivation and added value for a CISO to take part in the Swiss CISO Awards?

Participation in the Swiss CISO Awards offers a platform not only for recognition, but also for an important exchange of experience. The Awards serve as a source of inspiration and promote dialog between managers in order to master the challenges of cyber security together. Recognition by the industry can also play an important role in the further career development of CISOs.

Last year, there was no finalist in the CISO for Diversity category, but it will continue nonetheless. Why?

It is important to recognize that the lack of diversity in cybersecurity leadership positions is not just a challenge for women, but a challenge for society as a whole. Diversity goes beyond the mere promotion of people of a certain gender. It refers to the recognition and appreciation of differences in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic status, physical ability and marital status. Each of these elements contributes significantly to diversity and enriches our industry with different perspectives and approaches. By retaining this category, we are sending a clear signal that we value and want to promote this diversity and create an incentive for organizations to make progress in these important areas.

Who should attend the Global Cyber Conference?

This year, we are not only inviting CISOs and security experts. The conference is also intended for board members, CEOs, CFOs, COOs, CTOs and other executives. We will talk about the challenges that CISOs face from the Board of Directors and other executives. While CISOs are familiar with their own problems, we want to bring different stakeholders together. In this way, we can have meaningful discussions and work on comprehensive solutions.

Registration, the program and further details on the conference can be found here.