ChannelLife New Zealand - Industry insider news for technology resellers
Story image
Palo Alto Networks hosts first New Zealand Tech Summit
Thu, 27th Jul 2023

Following a year of increasingly sophisticated cyber attacks impacting New Zealand businesses, Palo Alto Networks hosted its first New Zealand Technology Summit to bring together cybersecurity professionals from New Zealand's leading businesses to discuss evolving cybersecurity threats and trends.

Vasely Sapunov, Head of Channel and Alliances, Palo Alto Networks, says the aim of the annual Technology Summit was to share best practice and strengthen New Zealand's defences against cyber threats.

"The current economic challenges impacting businesses means that many are looking for ways to reduce costs while increasing productivity and improving efficiency, importantly without compromising their cyber resilience and capability," says Sapunov. 

"This is further challenged due to the industry-wide shortage of skilled cyber security professionals because of the long-term impacts of Covid-19, which is why we were so pleased to provide cyber security professionals with an opportunity to gain fresh insights and learn new skills."

Scott Parker, Head of South Island DEFEND, says the focus on thought leadership at the Technology Summit would help cyber security professionals to shape a cyber resilient New Zealand.

"It was brilliant to attend an event where thought leadership was evident from the outset with a strong focus on industry collaboration, particularly around how we can leverage smarter tooling and technology with embedded AI to enable superior cybersecurity outcomes for our customers," he says.

A key area of focus at the Technology Summit was the rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning, not just in terms of potential threats but how automation is used in Palo Alto Networks solutions such as Cortex XSIAM. This new product enables automation across security operations centres (SOC), allowing organisations to respond to threats in a fraction of the time and analysts to focus on the highest priority incidents.

In addition to sharing best practice across the security sector, the Technology Summit provides attendees with hands-on workshops and exam preparation sessions to become certified in Palo Alto Networks technologies, including Cortex XSIAM. Some Palo Alto Networks partners are now qualified in Cortex XSIAM as a result of the learning and development component of the Summit.

"Cyber criminals are increasingly using automation to drive sophisticated attacks, so automation also has a role in proactive security where vulnerabilities are detected before they are exposed," says Sapunov. 

"When artificial intelligence is integrated into systems and processes, alongside automation, it has an increasingly important role in helping with data collection and planning, actioning, and using data to better understand how everything connects, he says.

Palo Alto Networks hosted 35 representatives from partners, including Datacom, One New Zealand, DEFEND, Spark, NTT, Cybersmart, Cello, VirtualFlex, and Fastcom.