Cole's Impactful Speaking Engagements

Cole's Insights and Innovations in Cybersecurity and Technology

Cole Cornford is a renowned figure in the Australian Application Security scene. An active OWASP contributor and sought-after speaker, Cole has spearheaded significant AppSec programs globally. In addition to leading Galah, he hosts the Secured podcast and authors influential security-focused articles.

Key Events

Future of Work: AI and Cyber Security Webinar

Galah Cyber was proud to participate in the “Future of Work: AI and Cyber Security” webinar hosted by the University of Newcastle. Cole Cornford, our CEO, contributed as a panellist, discussing the significant role of AI in enhancing cybersecurity measures and its broader implications for the workplace.

During this insightful session, Cole explored how AI can bolster security strategies and addressed the evolving challenges posed by cyber threats. This panel offered a vital platform for industry leaders to exchange ideas and deepen their understanding of the critical intersection of AI and cybersecurity.

ARI Annual Conference & Trade Show 2024

Galah Cyber participated in the 58th Annual Aquatic Recreation Institute Conference at the Sydney Coliseum Theatre, West HQ, a key gathering for professionals in aquatic and recreation facilities.

Cole delivered a keynote on “Diving into Cyber Risk,” addressing cybersecurity challenges in the aquatic sector and sharing robust risk management strategies. The event provided a platform to discuss innovation, management, and security in aquatic environments and strengthen our network in this vital industry.


Galah Cyber proudly participated in the /NEW conference at the NEX Conference Centre, Newcastle, celebrating innovation and technology in the Hunter region.

As part of the organising team,  Cole helped ensure a dynamic program with keynotes, panel discussions, and workshops on AI, application security, agile practices, and more. The event offered valuable opportunities to engage with the local tech community, share insights, and explore the latest industry trends.

AppSec & DevSecOps Summit Sydney 2024

The AppSec & DevSecOps Summit at Swissôtel Sydney brought together Australia’s leading software and security experts to explore application and cloud security’s complexities and opportunities.

Cole Cornford delivered the opening keynote, 10 Lessons from 10 Years in AppSec,” reflecting on a decade of advancements and challenges in application security. Engaging with over 150 CISOs, AppSec, and DevSecOps leaders, attendees gained strategic insights on software supply chain risk, AI-driven software assurance, and continuous threat modelling.

Big Day In Newcastle 2024

The Big Day In event at the University of Newcastle brought together students and industry leaders to explore technology careers and innovations.

Cole Cornford shared his journey from Cessnock to CEO, providing detailed insights into cybersecurity careers. His engaging presentation highlighted the importance of cybersecurity, shared personal experiences, and offered practical advice for students looking to enter the rapidly growing field of cybersecurity.

Lake Macquarie CIE

The Lake Macquarie CIE event was a great initiative to enlighten high school students from the Lake Macquarie region about cybersecurity career pathways.

Thanks to the collaboration between Galah Cyber, Alpha Echo, Cyber Goodies, Bettina Cutler and Investment NSW, and Kiraley M. and Lake Macquarie City Council, the event offered students hands-on activities like lockpicking, threat modelling, and social engineering.

Expert Panel Talks 2023

Hosted by Equal Experts, this event features discussions with global technology shapers on creating innovative digital products and services.

Cole participated in the panel “Unlocking AI: Rapid Experimentation, Seamless Delivery, and Ironclad Security“, discussing the challenges and opportunities of integrating AI into business processes. The talk focused on practical methods for leveraging AI effectively, drawing from real-world enterprise experiences to provide a roadmap for successful AI investments.

The Australian Parliament House Cyber Conference

The Australian Parliament House Cyber Conference is dedicated to security in the Australian public sector, with a critical focus on discussing the integration and impact of digital offerings in government services.

In “There’s an App for That!,” Cole discussed how software revolutionises government services, emphasising the need for robust Application Security programs to ensure citizen safety and trust in digital platforms.

Data Protection and Security Summit

A platform for Australian cybersecurity leaders, addressing pressing issues such as the Australian Reformed Privacy Act, Cloud Data Protection, and Ransomware.

Cole’s Talk “Smarter Data: Finding and Fixing Data Exposure Risks in 2023” focused on identifying and mitigating data exposure risks in the contemporary digital environment. He provided strategic insights to enhance organisational data security and privacy, addressing current challenges in data protection.


SydCyber is a meetup discussing all aspects of cybersecurity, open to everyone and featuring discussions from industry professionals.

In his “AppSec Careers” presentation, Cole provided similar content to his UTS CSEC Conference talk, focusing on the opportunities and pathways in the application security field.

Newcastle University - Guest Lecture for Data Structures

Cole’s guest lecture at Newcastle University offered insights into the intricate world of data structures, aligning academic learning with real-world applications.

In his lecture on “Risk in Software Engineering,” Cole focused on using risk management as a strategic tool in software planning. He highlighted how understanding and managing risk can lead to more robust and effective software solutions.

Guest Lecture at the University of Newcastle

A guest lecture session at the University of Newcastle, providing insights into the evolving field of cybersecurity.

Cole’s lecture, “Speedrun of Cyber“, offered a comprehensive overview of crucial cybersecurity concepts, providing students with a fast-paced yet thorough understanding of cybersecurity.

UTS CSEC Conference

CSECcon, organised by UTS, is a cybersecurity conference aiming to introduce students to the info-sec industry through presentations and interactive events.

Cole’s talk on “AppSec Careers” provided an overview of Application Security, detailing the roles and responsibilities in the field and offering advice on preparing for a career in securing software applications.

Newcastle Tech Futures

The Newcastle Tech Futures event connects University of Newcastle students with innovative companies in the tech industry, offering them valuable networking and career guidance opportunities.

In “AppSec at Galah Cyber“, Cole covered the various job opportunities in application security, providing insights into the skills and qualifications sought in the field and offering guidance for students interested in pursuing a career in AppSec.

i2N Startup Stories

The I2N fuels innovators and entrepreneurs by connecting them to community, coaching, and capital, enhancing their enterprise skills and market acceleration.

Cole’s talk, “Cybersecurity for Founders“, provided practical advice on implementing effective cybersecurity measures early in the startup lifecycle. Covering how to avoid common pitfalls and secure the foundation of emerging businesses.

Cloud Security Summit 2023

This summit in Sydney brings together Australian cybersecurity professionals to address crucial topics like cloud risk management and multi-cloud environment security.

Cole’s talk, “Securing Containerised Workloads – The Kubernetes Approach“, focused on Kubernetes security. He discussed strategies for fortifying Kubernetes clusters, shared case studies of successful security practices, and delved into prevalent threats and basic security measures for Kubernetes environments.

Fishburners Tech Talks

Fishburners Tech Talks supports entrepreneurs in the Australian startup ecosystem by offering panels and workshops led by industry experts.

In “Cybersecurity for Founders“, Cole discussed the importance of cybersecurity in the startup phase. He covered cost-effective strategies for risk mitigation and the crucial role of cybersecurity in ensuring the success and resilience of new businesses.

BSides Brisbane 2023

Continuing the tradition of BSides Brisbane, this event provided a platform for diverse cybersecurity discussions, from first-time speakers to experienced professionals, in a welcoming atmosphere.

In his talk “How AI Will Fundamentally Change Our Approach to AppSec“, Cole delved into the evolving role of AI in application security, highlighting how AI technologies can revolutionise security practices.

Community of Risk Management

The Mindful Risk Group’s event focused on educating board members on managing risks effectively.

Cole’s “Cybersecurity for Boards” session simplified cybersecurity concepts for board members, ensuring they understand their critical role in overseeing and managing cyber risks.

2023 Occasional Address at the
University of Newcastle

The Speech event provided an occasional address for the 2023 graduates of the University of Newcastle, offering them insights and inspiration for their future endeavours.

In his graduation speech, Cole shared his experiences and insights, motivating the new graduates to embrace the challenges and opportunities in the evolving digital landscape.

Guest Lecture at University of Newcastle - Encryption

The Lecture on Encryption offers students a deep dive into encryption technologies. This event bridges academic learning with real-world applications, providing insights into the latest encryption trends and practises crucial for data security in today’s digital world.

Cole’s Talk on “Practical Usage of Encryption”, focused on the practical aspects of encryption, explaining its vital role in cybersecurity. He simplified complex cryptographic methods and discussed their applications in protecting data, highlighting encryption’s importance in both security and compliance with global data regulations.

Expert Talks 2023

An event by Equal Experts, engaging thousands of consultants worldwide to innovate in technology and digital services.

In “Breaking Down AppSec Parables“, Cole challenged common AppSec misconceptions, offering fresh perspectives on topics like ‘shift left’ and the ROI of developer training.

Github Galaxy

Github Galaxy is an event centred on discussing the evolution and best practices in DevSecOps. It serves as a platform for experts to share insights on modernising this crucial field.

In Cole’s talk “Discussing DevSecOps”, Cole discussed the transition from traditional security scanning to more effective DevSecOps practices, focusing on integration and efficiency in the development pipeline.


MudCon offers a unique opportunity to learn from industry experts and connect with various teams within Mudbath, fostering a fun and collaborative environment. Hosting department showcases, talks, panel discussions and workshops with a broad mix of industry experts, clients and Mudbath presenters.

In Cole’s talk “Risk for Software Engineers“, He educated engineers on discussing and addressing cybersecurity risks, emphasising the importance of incorporating security considerations into software engineering practices.

AdelaideSEC by AISA

An annual conference facilitating collaboration among cyber and information security professionals, focusing on current threats and protective strategies.

Cole’s talk “Get the SAST Outta Here!” critiqued AST-based static analysis in software engineering, proposing new directions for improving security practices.

Newcastle JS

NewcastleJS is a local meetup for web development and JavaScript enthusiasts, offering a space to share experiences and technical insights.

In “Security Concerns for the Web’s Favourite Language“, Cole tackled the security challenges of JavaScript, highlighting common tactics adversaries use for script injection and strategies for building safer web applications.

Hunter Data Analytics

A monthly meetup in Newcastle welcomes a diverse data community, encouraging academia-industry ties and student engagement.

Cole’s presentation, “How Data-Science Can Help Break Your Favourite Games“, explored the use of data science techniques in speed-running video games. He discussed how aggregation and entropic analysis are applied to optimise speed runs, providing a unique perspective on the intersection of data science and gaming.

Newcastle University Guest Lecture for Software Architecture

Newcastle University’s guest lecture series provides in-depth discussions on various aspects of software development, engaging students with industry expertise.

Cole’s talk on “Pragmatic Architectures” delved into choosing effective architectural frameworks for codebases. He provided examples of successes and failures, emphasising practical application in software development.

Newcastle Coders Group

This group brings together programmers and technologists in Newcastle for discussions on current topics and networking opportunities.

Cole’s talk “Breaking the Ocarina – The Intersection of App Sec and Gaming” combined his passions for AppSec and the game Zelda: Ocarina of Time, discussing how security research in gaming can relate to building secure applications.


ComfyCon offers a relaxed atmosphere for discussing cybersecurity and adjacent topics. It’s a place for casual learning and sharing amongst Australian and New Zealand speakers.

In “Write Makes Right!“, Cole spoke about effective writing for InfoSec professionals, highlighting the importance of clear communication in cybersecurity.

Mudbath MSCR Tips Lunch and Learn

The Mudbath MSCR Tips L&L event is a gathering for a group of engineers in Newcastle, focusing on sharing expertise and insights in the engineering field.

Cole’s session on “How to Perform a Manual Secure Code Review” was particularly insightful, covering techniques for identifying security vulnerabilities in source code, a crucial skill for software engineers.

Bsides Brisbane 2021

This iteration of Bsides Brisbane continued its tradition of providing a welcoming platform for diverse cybersecurity discussions.

Cole’s talk, “State of Product Security“, critiqued current approaches to managing product security in Australia, shedding light on the problems with existing tooling and strategies.

OWASP 20th Anniversary Conference

Celebrating 20 years of the OWASP Foundation, this conference focused on cybersecurity’s past, present, and future, featuring renowned speakers and networking opportunities.

In “Back to Basics: Looking for Subtle Bugs in Beginner Programming Constructs“, Cole reiterated the importance of basic programming understanding in identifying and preventing security flaws, providing a fresh perspective on a common theme in cybersecurity.

Bsides Perth

Like Bsides Brisbane, this event focuses on giving a voice to professionals at different stages of their cybersecurity careers, fostering an environment of learning and sharing.

In his talk “AppSec Activities“, Cole actively explored various integral activities in Application Security programs, highlighting the ones to prioritise. His insights were invaluable for professionals looking to enhance their AppSec strategies.

AppSec Australia Meetup

The AppSec Australia Meetup is a collaborative forum where friends share technical knowledge on Application Security, including topics like DevSecOps and secure software development.

In his talk “Back to Basics: Looking for Subtle Bugs in Beginner Programming Constructs“, Cole emphasised the importance of understanding basic programming concepts to identify security vulnerabilities. His discussion covered how common programming errors can lead to significant security issues, advocating for a critical security lens in software architecture.

BSides Brisbane 2020

BSides Brisbane is a conference that offers a platform for a wide range of participants, from first-time speakers to experienced professionals, in a friendly environment. It’s a place where new ideas are shared and welcomed.

Cole’s “Scaled Security from Scratch for a Global Startup” talk delved into the unique challenges of establishing robust security practices in a dynamic startup environment. He highlighted the importance of understanding various threat actors and adapting traditional security controls to fit the company’s unique technology and business model. Cole’s insights were especially relevant for startups operating in countries with complex legal landscapes.

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