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Auckland Experts Changing The Face Of Cyber Security Technology In New Zealand


  • World’s leading cyber security experts will meet in Auckland next year to discuss advancement within the field as the risks of leaked data, phishing and exposure to inappropriate content poses increasing harm to economies across the globe.
  • The International Conference on Privacy, Security and Trust (PST) conference, which was last held in Auckland in 2016, has been secured again for the region.
  • PST conference provides a world-class forum for sharing the advances, research and technology within cybersecurity and security applications.
PST Conference 2016 in Auckland

Some of the world’s leading cyber security experts will meet in Auckland next year to discuss advancement within the field as the risks of leaked data, phishing and exposure to inappropriate content poses increasing harm to economies across the globe.

The International Conference on Privacy, Security and Trust (PST), which was last held in Auckland in 2016, was again secured for the region after a bid by Dr Mahsa Mohaghegh and Professor Hossein Sarrafzadeh, from the Auckland Convention Bureau (ACB) ambassador programme, the Auckland Advocate Alliance.

Dr Mahsa Mohaghegh
Professor Hossein Sarrafzadeh

There is a greater need for resource and education of cyber technologies to keep citizens protected, which is why the news of a conference on cyber security to be held in Auckland is creating excitement within the industry. The New Zealand Government has recently launched the campaign ‘Keep it Real Online’ in an effort to keep children and young people safe online.

Professor Sarrafzadeh, a global expert on cyber security previously based at Auckland’s Unitec Institute of Technology says: “Cyber security is a hot topic across the world with a big gap in the training and technology to keep us secure. It’s estimated the cost of cybersecurity is increasing to $3 Trillion, 80% of which is from organised crime.”

The PST conference provides a world-class forum for sharing the advances, research and technology within cybersecurity and security applications.

It brings leaders in security practices together to share knowledge and trends that can benefit the world’s security in the ever-changing technology landscape.

One of New Zealand’s foremost tech experts, Dr Mohaghegh, will lead the 2021 PST Conference in Auckland as well as speaking at Tech Week this month on a panel session around ‘Future Technology’ and celebrating women in the field.

For Dr Mohaghegh, a key component of the 2021 PST Conference will be to encourage more women to look at a career in cyber security technologies.

As Director of Women in Technology at Auckland University of Technology, Dr Mohaghegh is leading the charge as more conferences focusing on women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are secured in the wake of COVID-19.

Dr Mohaghegh says: “Cyber security is a vital component of technology development, and with the addition of more and more smart devices entering our increasingly connected lives, there is huge potential for careers in cyber security.”

“As part of the 2021 PST Conference we are collaborating with the New Zealand Network for Women in Security and hope to encourage more women to consider this exciting and booming field.”

Along with the PST Conference in 2021, Techweek’s 2020’s ‘Future Technology’ panel session will celebrate the calibre of women working within New Zealand's technology industry and their vital position in creating future technology.

The panel session will take the audience on a journey of what future tech looks like, facilitating a discussion around what needs to change in New Zealand to keep us on par with global organisations.

These are just two events that aim to promote women to take up careers and roles in fields around STEM.

Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor, Professor Juliet A. Gerrard is a strong advocate for more women exploring careers in STEM and sees the opportunity conferences like these bring in generating awareness and promoting women in these fields.

Professor Gerrard says: “It’s inspiring to see conferences like these showcase successful women in STEM. It’s so important to have all sorts of different people working in these areas to broaden perspectives and encourage innovation and new ideas.”

Anna Hayward, Head of ACB – part of Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED) - says she’s excited for Auckland to host such impactful events which promote the advancements of women working in STEM.

“Business events provide an opportunity for knowledge-exchange and by bringing such events to Auckland it further cements our city as an innovative and forward-thinking destination and puts our city on the map as a hub for technology.”

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