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Keynote Topics

Below are some of Jessica's most requested topics and talks

Hacked: The Secrets Behind Cyber Attacks


This keynote draws on Jessica's bestselling book Hacked: The Secrets Behind Cyber Attacks, published in 2024.


In this session, Jessica delves into some of the most eye-opening, jaw-dropping and action-orientated case studies from Hacked. This storytelling gets people to sit up in their seats and take a fresh look at cyber security.


She delivers all of this with humour, positivity and jargon-free key takeaways for everyone to apply.

From ransomware to romance fraud, malware to money muling - this session will leave you feeling up-to-date and inspired to practice positive cyber security behaviors.

The Human Nature of Cyber Security

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Cyber security is so often presented and discussed in deeply technical terms. While technology is at the heart of cyber security, so is human awareness, behavior and culture.


In this session, Dr Jessica Barker highlights how human bias makes us all susceptible to online manipulation and how we can practically apply psychology, sociology, and neuroscience to understand how cyber criminals operate. These insights are especially paramount with the growth of AI, as Jessica demonstrates.


You will leave this session looking at cyber security in a different light, leaving you with an understanding of how to unlock the human element of this field. 

Why Social Engineering is BS

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Social engineering is involved in most 'hacks', with phishing the number one threat to organisations. In this keynote, Dr Jessica Barker explores the psychology, neuroscience and sociology of scams.


She explores the emotional bait that criminals use to manipulate us and the human biases that make us all vulnerable. Using real-world examples of phishing emails, messages and calls, Jessica walks through how criminals push the emotional buttons of their targets and get us to click before we think.


Participants leave with a greater awareness of how and why we are manipulated, helping them spot scams and be more vigilant against cyber crime.

Why Culture is Key to Cyber Security

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Cyber security culture eats breaches for breakfast. In this session, Dr Jessica Barker explains what this really means: what actually is security culture and why is it so important?


Jessica makes cyber security culture real: it is not something intangible but rather something that we can define, understand, measure and influence. She explains why it is the foundation to an organisation's security posture.


Participants leave this session with a greater understanding not only of what culture is, but also how they can play a part in building a positive security culture. Jessica shares practical advice to help everyone stay safe online at home as well as at work.

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How a Hack Works
Demonstrating a Phishing 

Year on year, phishing attacks keep on growing. It is now the biggest online threat to organisations. This session brings the who, how and why of phishing to life.


Dr Jessica Barker explores how phishing attacks work, the human factors behind them and what we can do to mitigate against them.


Including a demonstration of a spear-phishing email attack (from the attacker and victim side), participants leave with an insight into the reality of cyber insecurity and both the human and technical elements at play. This session can be delivered in partnership with FC.


Cyber security and the Psychology of Fear

For too long, the cybersecurity industry has attempted to use FUD to engage with the human element.


This engaging talk draws on extensive research in the sociology and psychology of fear, as well as real-world case studies. Dr Jessica Barker explains why we can't simply scare people into security, but how we can harness human bias to have a more positive impact on cybersecurity awareness, behaviour and culture. 

Jessica presented a version of this talk as her popular keynote at RSA Conference 2020 in San Francisco.

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Human and Artificial Intelligence: social engineering now and next

Social engineering is involved in most 'hacks', with phishing the number one threat to organizations. In this keynote, Dr Jessica Barker explores the psychology, neuroscience and sociology of scams.


Combining this with technological advances of recent years, this session uncovers how cyber criminals leverage AI to make their attacks more advanced and effective.

Exploring the role of AI in cyber crime now and looking ahead to the future, this jargon-free overview empowers everyone with an understanding of AI. 

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Jessica presented her approach to building a strong security awareness culture to our global security leadership and has had a major influence in shaping our approach to building a strong security culture across our business

Andrew Dickinson, Bupa

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