Cisco are a big player in the tech world. They are an American-based global company with over 70 000 employees. They rank 74 in the Fortune 100 and have an annual turnover in excess of $50 billion. In my Masterschool cybersecurity course that I’ve been doing since January, we regularly come across Cisco in many different aspects of the course. They primarily produce switches and routers which link networks together (there are even Cisco programming languages), acting as bridges between office computers and the wider internet. I could bore you to death with the intricacies of setting up a secure DMZ (De-Militarized Zone) for your business, but I’ll do that in a different blog post here on Four Four Cyber. This particular post is a fun one.
I was at Infosecurity Europe 2023 at the ExCel in London and inside, whilst scooting about between stands I recognised the Cisco stand and shot over there to see what was happening. They had some entertaining seminar and after entering a few competition with my fellow Masterschool student mate, Robert, we were invited to a ‘Happy Hour’ free drinks session on board the Sunborn yacht which was sitting out in the harbour of London’s Docklands, just outside the ExCel conference centre. Never one to turn down a free drinks party, I built up my thirst and clambered on board at 1800. Boat parties are my favourite events ever and as a club DJ and promoter I have ran about 14 Set Sail with Shuffle boat events myself and if there’s a party on a boat and I can get there, I’ll be there.
At the Cisco Event, I walked onto the yacht and grabbed a free Corona at the bar, and looked over, and sure enough, a dancefloor, with a DJ and a saxophonist. The tunes were laidback and good and I immediately recognised an old Freak Power track playing that I have in my vinyl collection so it was straight over to the DJ to do what we call in the industry a bit of ‘Trainspotting’. When you are performing as a professional DJ – and I mean a proper mixing DJ who has a lot of technical skills and not just your average wedding DJ, the last thing you want to be doing is chatting to someone. Requests or whatever, you are paid to perform. I constantly make a nuisance of myself at gigs, but DJs tend to be all right with other DJs, especially if you’re discussing old, obscure bits of black plastic…. Vinyl addiction and Record Shop etiquette is just a part of DJ culture that youngsters today with MP3s and synch buttons and Beatport just do not understand. The DJ is a pretty young lady, exotically called Phoebe D’Abo – She is a resident at Cafe Mambo which is one of the best venues in Ibiza – this explained the high quality chill tracks Phoebe was spinning. The dance music industry is only really quite small and I have a friend Dr Feelgood who is also a resident at Mambo so we had mutual contacts. I yarned on for five minutes, distracting Phoebe with requests for Massive Attack and confirming that it was a Freak Power – Turn On, Tune In, Cop Out. Phoebe was lovely and fiar play to her she specializes in doing corporate events for some massive companies and I bet she gets paid well. A professional, without a doubt and lovely lady to go with that – Check her website and see the sort of business she is doing.
The music was great and I met some nice people outside by the ashtray, smoking fags. One of the blokes was a top boss or something and I was grilling him about the cloud and whether Cisco products will be required in the future but he assured me that they are versatile and are adapting to the future market and have no intention of fading away as a tech market leader. Below are some snaps with my Cisco mates: Andy and Maximiliano from Argentina who had some great advice to me about using Spanish language skills in any future tech career.
The beers were flowing and the ‘Happy Hour’ lasted about four hours until the bar ran dry and then it was trekking back on the Docklands Light Railway back into town and then bus back to my digs in Peckham. Cisco proved what a quality firm they are and as fun as the event was, it did give a valuable insight into a future career in #cybersecurity
As a quick aside. I got sent about 6 invites up to four months in advance for a rival boat party at Infosec, run by Crowdstrike – I’d been attending their webinars all year. they are a big firm but not as big as Cisco. I signed up and was looking forward to their Silver Sturgeon event and kept getting more and more invites off them. I thought, maybe it’s a bit ‘too good to be true’. I t took ages registering for all these events and planning my 4 days in London around attending them. A couple of says before Infosec, I got emails back off Crowdstrike cancelling all 6 of the events I’d been invited to and signed up to as apparently they had over-subscribed and there wasn’t enough room. I tried getting hold of them and didn’t get anywhere. Customer Service shocking. It really annoyed me and put a dampener on my whole Infosec experience. They are basically spammers and liars and as a former professional event promoter I really do understand how you must NEVER NEVER let your audience down. Ok, I’m just a little minnow with Four Four Cyber in the world of #cybersecurity but even so. Crowdstrike may be a big player and may know their cyber stuff inside out but as for event promoting and building their reputation – what a complete failure: A bunch of charlatans. I will have nothing to do with them and will happily bad mouth them to anyone who will listen. They are still filling my inbox with Spam and I’ve told them straight to sod off. Let’s compare Cisco with Crowdstrike – Cisco a proper big firm. No messing around. A professional event. The photos and videos and music say it all. Cisco rescued my Infosec for me and future loyalties lie with them. You ran a great even on the Sunborn yacht and I thank you very much for your kind hospitality and hope to be a customer and will certainly endorse you and keep an eye out. See you next year and I look forward to whatever you have planned. Cheers. Wez G.