In The Boardroom With...
Mr. Bradford Rand
TECHEXPO Top Secret
SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: Thank you for joining us today, Bradford, and congratulations on the branding and traction you have achieved with TECHEXPO Top Secret and Cyber Security Summit . Before we discuss these events in greater detail, please tell us about your background.
Bradford Rand: Thanks for the kind words. I have always had an interest in producing events of all types. I started my professional career on Wall Street and quickly found that path to not be fulfilling. My entrepreneurial inner voice led me to starting my own business in 1992 at age 25; I produced my first event in 1993, which was a job fair in NYC for sales & management professionals and was thrilled to see my idea become a reality. Since then, my team and I have produced over 1,000 events ranging from job fairs, executive level conferences, eco-friendly trade shows, press showcases & charity events.
SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: Please give us a brief history and an overview of TECHEXPO Top Secret and Cyber Security Summit.
Bradford Rand: After producing sales & management career fairs during my first two years of business named “JOB EXPO,” I began producing hiring events for technology professionals in 1995 which we titled "TECHEXPO." It soon became the largest job fair in the Northeast for IT & engineering professionals. After the dot-com crash in 2000 and the terrible events of 9/11, my team and I quickly turned our attention to an economic sector that was in desperate need of qualified talent. This, of course, was the Defense & Intelligence Industry. Thus began our newly named fairs "TECHEXPO Top Secret," a series of hiring events for Security-Cleared Tech, Cyber & Intelligence Professionals. Our shows have been the industry leader for over a decade; connecting contractors such as Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman & Government Agencies like The CIA, The NSA and The FBI with experienced talent, especially transitioning Veterans, has become a passion of ours. My team and I are proud to have helped nearly One Million people over the last 20+ years find new employment!
I developed the idea for the “Cyber Security Summit" while I was producing a Cyber Warriors exclusive job fair in 2013. I knew there were many large trade shows in the security industry, but identified a void in the marketplace, as there was a need to have regionally focused, one-day only, information packed conferences designed for business leaders. The mission would be to educate & enlighten key executives on the latest threats facing their enterprises and to showcase cutting edge solutions through keynotes, interactive panel & roundtable discussions, all with a reasonably sized expo area for sponsors. My thought process was simple: Let's bring the summit to the executive, rather than trying to convince a C-Suite community already too busy putting out fires to travel for days on end to a trade show environment. Attending large-scale events with hundreds of booths is certainly entertaining, however, I always questioned the effectiveness of their educational aspect as well as how much actual business is consummated in such a chaotic forum. The goal of the Cyber Security Summit is to connect cyber experts with senior level executives looking for and needing answers; through the intimate environment that we maintain, our goal is accomplished.
We limit the amount of delegate attendees to approximately 300 in order to keep the panel sessions & sponsor participation intimate and engaging so that the atmosphere would feel less like a trade show and can focus more on content and education. We started with one summit in NY; now the conferences are in Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago, DC, NY and Los Angeles.
SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: Cyber security breaches and attacks are, unfortunately, in the headlines almost every day now. Any particular trends in cyber security, or trends in job searching/recruiting for cyber positions you’d like to share with us?
Bradford Rand: The trends I see are actually positive. There has never been more awareness to cyber crime than ever before. Most large companies are teaching their employees about what to look out for, whether it be suspicious emails, protecting one's passwords, insider threat, BYOD and beyond. We see more educational outlets and conferences each week that enlighten professionals on the current cyber threat landscape. With regards to the cyber job market, there has never been a better time for experienced security professionals to shine and upgrade their careers to a new pay scale! The demand for cyber talent will only increase into the foreseeable future.
SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: What are some highlights of past events Cyber Security Summit events and what can attendees expect to see, hear and learn at your 2016 upcoming events?
Bradford Rand: The highlights that come to mind when I reflect on our past summits really revolve around the quality and expertise of our speakers. A few phenomenal individuals that stand out in memory include Kristin Lovejoy, Global CISO of IBM, Terry McAuliffe, Governor of VA, Leo Taddeo, former Special Agent in Charge of the Cyber Div. of the FBI’s NY Office, Matthew Scholl, Chief of the Computer Security Division in the IT Lab at NIST, Curtis Dukes, Dir. Info Assurance of The NSA, Donald Good, Deputy Asst. Dir. of Intelligence, Outreach & Support, FBI Cyber Division of Washington D.C. All of these speakers connected with our audience in a meaningful way that was incredibly insightful. Executives in the audience were really engaged and it seemed that they could not get enough information fast enough, especially from these subject matter thought leaders.
One of the highlights for our 2016 Cyber Security Series includes the Panel Discussion on incredibly hot-topic, "The Internet of Things." As technology advances our world becomes more fully connected and we continue to rely on these automated devices ranging from cell phones & watches to smart cars and refrigerators - the potential for cyber breaches seems boundless. We have the CTO of Intel Security, Jonathan Andersen who specializes on IoT joining us on that Panel, so I am eager to hear his thoughts. We’ve also just secured the Honorable John P. Carlin, US Asst. Attorney General of National Security from the Dept. of Justice as our Keynote for the Atlanta summit in April. As you can imagine we could not be more thrilled with our upcoming events.
SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: Your list of Thought Leaders, Speakers & Advisors which includes: IBM, Intel, Symantec, just to name a few, is truly impressive. Care to elaborate?
Bradford Rand: I am very humbled & thankful that so many key experts have taken the time to have joined us, and of course those that will be joining us at our future conferences. I believe they all appreciate the level of executives we invite and attract to our shows.
SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: Thanks again for joining us today, Bradford. Are there any other subjects you would like to discuss?
Bradford Rand: We would like to thank you and your team at SecuritySolutionsWatch for your support and look forward to future collaboration with the goals of education, enlightenment and even some entertainment for those executives seeking to protect their critical infrastructures.