The restart of live events has been a success: From 12 to 14 October, 274* exhibitors from 18 countries and some 5,200 trade visitors from 28 countries made it-sa 2021 the key gathering for IT security experts and decision-makers. “The it-sa 2021 trade fair was a resounding success: As expected in the current circumstances, the event was smaller than the last one but still an extremely effective marketing tool for the companies taking part,” says Frank Venjakob, director of it-sa, summing up the first event following last year’s deferral due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “The exhibitors at it-sa 2021 were impressed by the high calibre of the contacts they made and in-depth professional discussions on concrete projects. We are incredibly pleased about the positive feedback we received in the course of numerous face-to-face conversations,” Venjakob continues. The participation of high-ranking representatives of government and associations underlines the role of it-sa as a central dialogue forum for cybersecurity. The it-sa Expo&Congress is therefore sending out a clear message to IT security vendors, experts and decision-makers: Welcome back to it-sa, the “Home of IT Security”!
The participants in the event were unanimous: In view of the increase in cyber-attacks, IT security is more important than ever. As digital association Bitkom reported, there has been increased awareness of IT security in Germany and the associated expenditure has also gone up. However, there was still a need to create structures to encourage the further growth of the IT security market. Luigi Rebuffi, Secretary General of the European Cyber Security Organisation, called for example for the strengthening of the cyber security sector in the European economic area. In an international context, the market for IT security in Europe is suffering from a funding shortfall of more than €4 billion a year. In Halls 7 and 7A, and during the Congress@it-sa programme held in the modern Nuremberg Convention Center Ost, participants discussed these and other topical issues. The congress highlights also included the annual convention of IT security managers from regional and local authorities.
Outstanding forum programme
The programme of presentations from the four forums at it-sa 2021 offered more than 130 sessions on different topics. As in previous years, the forums once again proved to be a real crowd-puller. As well as three German-language forums, the International Forum in English provided additional expert knowledge for those who could not attend in person. The programme was broadcast on the online platform it-sa 365 at the same time as the physical event in Nuremberg. This meant that those who could not be on site still had the opportunity to watch the English-speaking presentations and trade fair highlights like the special keynote or presentation of the UP@it-sa Award online. After the event, the forum programme will be posted and available to download on the it-sa 365 platform.
Startups in the spotlight – UP@itsa Award for XignSys
At it-sa 2021, support was provided to young companies through the special display area Startups@it-sa, a panel discussion, and the presentation of the UP@it-sa Award. The winner of the coveted startup award open to contenders from the German-speaking regions is XignSys from Gelsenkirchen. The XignSys team won the accolade for its development of an innovative and especially user-friendly authentication solution.
Special Keynote by AI pioneer Chris Boos
The keynote address at it-sa 2021 was held by Hans-Christian (“Chris”) Boos. The artificial intelligence expert talked about the importance of this technology for current and future security applications. He appealed to his audience to be aware of their responsibilities when developing AI-based security tools and stressed that the human factor was still of prime importance in this context.
Bavarian Government reception on eve of it-sa
On the evening before the trade fair, Albert Füracker, Bavarian Minister for Finance and Regional Identity, hosted a government reception. For high-ranking representatives of government and associations, the invitation was a welcome opportunity to meet in person again at it-sa. The event featured a discussion among a panel of experts: Andreas Könen, Head of Cyber and Information Security Department at the German Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community, Arne Schönbohm, President of the German Federal Agency of IT Security, and Udo Littke from the Bitkom Executive Board.
Onsite and online: it-sa 365 provides digital extension to it-sa Expo&Congress
As an all-year-round extension to the it-sa Expo&Congress, the organisers of the 2020 event launched the digital dialogue platform it-sa 365. IT security vendors showcase their companies on the platform through corporate profiles, product information and online presentations. On the vendor side, the platform currently features an additional 77 company profiles on top of the 274 profiles of all it-sa 2021 exhibitors. Since the platform’s launch in October last year, the number of registered users has almost doubled: From the around 2,900 registrations following the “Launch Days”, the number of users has already risen to more than 5,500 meanwhile. The platform was used intensively during it-sa, as people prepared for the event and initiated real-life contacts. No less than 1,500 chat messages were sent via the platform in the week of the trade fair. “During the trade fair, we noted yet another substantial increase in user numbers. This shows how well on-site and online formats can be combined with the attractive offerings on it-sa 365,” explains Frank Venjakob.
For IT security managers and decision-makers, it-sa 365 is the ideal place to get information and expertise on cybersecurity even after the fair is over. With further rounds of the IT Security Talks on 15 and 16 March and 17 and 18 May 2022, the organisers are building on their successful concept of using online presentations to explore important IT security questions.
The next round of it-sa will take place from 25 to 27 October 2022 at the Nuremberg Exhibition Centre.