Sphere ’22 brings people together – literally!


After three long years, WithSecure™’s first event as a new company brought security professionals from all around the world together once again. But what did they have to talk about? We found out.

WithSecure™’s very first Sphere ‘Unconference’ took place on the 1st and 2nd of June. Perhaps more striking than the dramatic backdrop and the fact that many people were able to attend in person, were the opening statements of the first speakers. WithSecure™’s own Niko Isotalo and Elena Zykova took to the stage with some startling warnings. Zykova began by announcing that “we simply don’t have enough cybersecurity talent out there, which is a problem.” Isotalo, meanwhile, declared that “no one can solve every problem alone, and that is why true partnership is crucial”.

The chance to talk face-to-face was taken up by hundreds of participants.

Co-security on everyone’s lips

This presentation laid the foundations of what was to prove an honest and open forum, with participants able to voice their concerns and fears. Throughout the event, guests, partners, customers and WithSecure™ experts discussed the current attack landscape, before attention turned to concerns that need to be solved in the short- and medium-term.

Indeed, partnership and co-security very quickly became the event’s red thread, with the theme popping up again and again, throughout various keynote speeches, demo events and networking occasions. It could well have been the fact that people were able to once again speak face-to-face, but there was a realization among security professionals that there is no way that they can protect themselves alone. Instead, it is a joint effort, with expert partners required to create a secure environment.

Matthew Rosenquist, who had travelled over from the United States to speak at the event, believes that this theme is critical. “Co-security is imperative. We all have to work together, as the attackers will always look for the weakest link. If we don’t, then they will win and we can’t let that happen.”

Sphere’s demos proved incredibly popular and prompted many discussions.

Demos prove popular

Alongside the keynote speakers and networking opportunities, there were a series of demo events dotted around the dramatic arena. WithSecure™’s Elisa Mustonen was one of those presenting and said of her booth: “We were presenting the cloud security posture management, which we are bringing into WithSecure™’s Elements platform. Customers and partners seemed to have a very strong interest in this upcoming product, asking when it would be ready and how they could get in. This is a really good sign!” according to the company’s Product Marketing Manager.

Suvi Silvanto, WithSecure™’s Director of Product Marketing, was also involved in the demonstrations, presenting the in-depth defense capabilities of Elements, how the attack surface is expanding and the ways in which Elements is providing 360-degree security. “We were more than happy to see our demo booth full of people across all the sessions, with some fascinating discussions taking place after each one. We also got the chance to present many new feature updates, one of them being the OneDrive protection which is the next new feature in the W/ Elements Collaboration Protection,” Silvanto says.

The award winners celebrate.

Awards strengthen partnerships

iOCO took home the inaugural WithSecure™ Growth Partner of the Year award, with both Richard Vester, the company’s managing director, and Paul Spagnoletti, business unit executive, cloud and security, keen to pay tribute to the working partnership between their company and WithSecure™. “It’s very simple,” according to Spagnoletti. “We can rely on the team at WithSecure™, they never drop us. Nothing is too much of an effort for these guys, no matter which part of the sales cycle we are in. They live and breathe the concept of co-security, and it is fantastic to work with a partner like that – the level they go to support you is almost unheard of.”

Vester continued: “We’ve had the chance to connect with other partners in the community. That’s key, as it is not just talking with the team at WithSecure™, but we’re able to speak to like-minded individuals and understand what they are doing in the market and what they are seeing. This is exciting for us and holds us in good stead going forward.”

Atea won the Best Performance award, with their team saying: “WithSecure™ is one of the best-in-class in their own environment and this award is a huge honor for us, as well as great recognition for the decade that we have already been working together. We have a common goal to help the customer achieve the very best they can.”

Despite changeable weather – which included the bizarre sight of wind, rain, and sunshine all at the same time, there was an overwhelming positivity around the event and an agreement that not only was it great to be back together discussing the big issues, but that this was one of the most successful cybersecurity events in living memory. Next up is Sphere London – we hope to see you there.