White Hat Ball – A Night to Remember

March 1, 2023 | 4 min read

James McDowell

Managing Director, BlueVoyant UK

James Mc Dowell

This year, for the second consecutive year, BlueVoyant was the proud headline sponsor of the White Hat Ball, which was held at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London, with a sparkling reception and an amazing dinner and evening experience. The event, which draws in the great and the good from the information security and cyber risk industry, is dedicated to raising funds to support Childline and the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), the UK's leading children’s charity.

More Than £2 Million in Fundraising

The White Hat Ball started 17 years ago when a group of security and risk professionals came together to raise money for charity. At first, this was largely through organising the annual White Hat Ball but now fundraising activities have expanded to include the White Hat London Marathon, in aid of NSPCC Childline, and a range of industry events throughout the year. NSPCC is a charity dedicated to keeping children safe, including from cyber threats. The White Hat Events Committee has now raised more than £2.6 million for charity, which is a fantastic achievement, and here at BlueVoyant we were incredibly proud to be involved in White Hat once again, helping to make a difference.

Fundraising a Record-Breaking £230,000

And we did make a difference. Not only was the evening filled with fun entertainment, great food, and a strong connection to the cause, but together we raised a record-breaking £230,000 for NSPCC Childline. These funds mean the charity can respond to over 54,000 contacts from children and young people who need someone to turn to in their time of need this year.

At BlueVoyant, our mission is to protect governments, companies, and economies from cyber disruption. Whilst our function protects organisations, our purpose also extends to the people and communities that these organisations serve. In short, protecting people is at the heart of everything we do. In parallel, the NSPCC exists to protect children — to end cruelty to children in both the digital and the real world.

We share this passion with Stephen Khan, Chair of the White Hat Ball and Head of Technology and Cyber Security Risk at HSBC. Reflecting on the event, Stephen writes, “our industry, and cyber community has actively demonstrated our support for wider society to help young people by raising another record-breaking amount of funds raised for NSPCC Childline. The White Hat Ball committee and I are humbled, delighted, and enormously proud to be part of this industry, and grateful to all of you, and of course our sponsors especially BlueVoyant, our headline sponsor."

In today’s uncertain environment, the work the NSPCC does to support young people attempting to navigate their surroundings both on and offline has never been more vital. We often see heart-breaking stories on the news of children who have been unjustly targeted online. Since the Online Safety Bill was first introduced, as it has gone through parliament, so it has been further strengthened to greater protect children who find themselves vulnerable to online threats. These changes include much stronger protections for children, including requirements on age limits and more controls around users and their feeds.

Safer Internet Day

Earlier this month was Safer Internet Day, a time for those in the UK and around the globe to talk about improving life online . Safer Internet Day aims to raise awareness regarding emerging online concerns. One of the aspects that is heavily focused on is the safety of children on the internet. Online abuse of children is a growing problem, as predatory actors commit acts of grooming, sexual abuse, stalking, harassment and cyber bullying. More needs to be done to raise awareness and protect young people. As experts in cyber security, we know that supporting and educating the people and organisations targeted by those seeking to do them harm is a vital part of building resilience. We have been involved in cases that include investigating threats against children, and we are passionate about helping.

How Can We All Help Children?

As an industry, we can all play our part in raising awareness around the vital work of the NSPCC, not only by supporting the charity financially but also by volunteering. We can support aligned charities and organisations, like the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command (CEOP). As experts in cyber security, we can apply our skills to improving online safety whilst protecting those targeted from malicious cybercriminals and the cyber threat landscape.

Thank you!

And finally, I would like to thank the NSPCC for the incredible work this charity does and to especially thank all those who supported us and helped to raise funds and make The White Hat Ball a night to remember – in so many ways – thank you.