Auckland wins bid to host top international cyber security conference

Published on : Friday, August 14, 2015

AucklandAuckland will play host to hundreds of the world’s leading researchers in cyber security at the PST 2016: International Conference on Privacy, Security and Trust (PST).


Auckland Convention Bureau (ACB) – a division of Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) – worked with Unitec’s computing Head of Department Professor Hossein Sarrafzadeh to bring the conference to Auckland, using support from Tourism New Zealand’s Conference Assistance Programme (CAP) bid fund.


Auckland Convention Bureau Manager Anna Hayward says the three day conference will attract more than 250 delegates from around the world and inject $350,000 into the local economy.


“This is a great example of bringing business events into Auckland that align to ATEED’s sector priorities. Auckland has a vibrant ICT sector with more than 6,700 companies, employing nearly 31,000 people, and contributing $4 billion or 7 per cent of New Zealand’s GDP. The sector has grown 80 per cent in the past decade,” she says.


“The benefits of hosting business events like PST 2016 are far-reaching. Beyond the obvious economic value, they bring people together to exchange knowledge and ideas, build business relationships and over the long term attract investment and talent flows.”


Professor Sarrafzadeh is part of the STRATUS (Security Technologies Returning Accountability, Transparency and User-centric Services in the Cloud) project. The $10.6 million Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment-funded six year project hopes to provide a significant boost to New Zealand’s fledgling cyber security industry.


“This conference will help grow the reputation of New Zealand as leaders in the field, and further strengthen international relationships in the area of cyber security,” he says.


“Since as early as 2010 cyber security has been identified as a global human capital crisis. It’s a big problem for businesses, governments, organisations and individuals”


Sarrafzadeh says those who are skilled in cyber security can expect great careers in well-paying jobs.


“More people around the world are learning that fighting cyber-crime pays, with a huge number of high paid jobs being created annually. Being good in this field is all about being smart and innovative, something that Kiwis do very well. It is exciting that we are gaining increasing visibility globally for this exciting work.”


Tourism New Zealand Acting International Business Events Manager Anna Fennessy says this win is a great example of the business events sector working collaboratively to secure another international conference for New Zealand.


“Tourism New Zealand has significantly increased its work in the business events sector, including the management of the CAP bid fund, with the goal of attracting more high-value international delegates to New Zealand and this is a great result of this activity.”

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