REVULN | Interview with Luigi Auriemma

REVULN is a group of companies founded in September 2012 and incorporated in Malta, Belize, and Hong Kong. The team also organize a bunch of fantastic Cybersecurity events and conferences in various locations. As an organization, REVULN performs security research, projects, and activities on behalf of companies, organizations, and governments.

The REVULN security events are invitation-only, free, and interestingly are without sponsors or marketing. The events are aimed at journalists, NGOs, government, and law enforcement agencies.

Each event is noted for having a wide yet fascinating range of content from surveillance, privacy, digital rights, fake news, activism, intelligence, and the current trends of the hosting country.

I caught up with founder Luigi Auriemma from REVULN to ask him a bunch of questions regarding upcoming events and the future of the organization.

What’s The “Best Thing” About Your Event(s)?

The following are the main key points:

  • invitation-only with free participation
  • no sponsors and no marketing
  • organized and financed by me
  • international speakers for at least 5 sessions per day
  • focused on one main topic announced during the Call for Papers
  • hosted in various countries in Asia and Europe
  • mainly for participants working in journalism, NGOs, government and law enforcement agencies
  • maximum of 70 attendees free to attend at any time
  • two or more full days, usually from 10:00 to 17:00

The goal is to use cybersecurity for touching matters like surveillance, privacy, digital rights, fake news, activism, intelligence, and the current trends of the hosting country.

It’s a great way for doing networking and building connections, and it’s perfect for also bringing interesting content to people working in fields that aren’t cyber security-oriented, in a relaxed and informal environment.

How Would You Like To See Your Event(s) Evolve?

My current target is running the events in most of the Asian countries, and maybe covering additional places in Southern Europe other than Malta.

After I organized two events in Hong Kong during 2019, I had in mind to organize four conferences this year and even more in 2021.

But the pandemic broke this plan and running the currently planned 3 events (Bangkok, Malta, and Manila) will not be so trivial due to the restrictions on international flights for the foreign attendees.

The framework of the conferences evolves continuously due to the different countries and topics chosen for each event, what’s good for country X needs to be changed for country Y, and I try to fix and improve it with the accrued experience.”

What Do You Look For In Speakers And Their Presentations?

Country: the events are usually focused on a specific region, therefore the country of the speaker is essential and it’s my priority to cover as many countries as possible

Working field: speakers are encouraged to provide their own experience in their field and talk about what they do professionally and personally

Relevancy to the main topic: the events are focused on a specific “theme” but I also reserve some slots for a few presentations touching on other topics

Previous talks: I like to have speakers who didn’t present before or maybe only in their own country or in a specific field, giving them the opportunity to share their experience with attendees from other countries

Content: since there are no sponsored talks, keynotes, or hyped presentations, I prefer content focused on my own experience and research

Anything Else You’d Like To Share?

Thanks a lot for the opportunity to talk about these events.

I’m very active on LinkedIn where I post news and insights about the conferences:

I fully understand and feel the frustration of the other organizers while making plans A, B, C, Z, and then watching them dissolving months or even weeks later. The following is my plan for the conferences of 2020:

REVULN 20×3 – Bangkok (Thailand)
Event: September 9-10
Topic: Social media monitoring and online censorship evasion

REVULN 20×2 – Malta
Event: 15-16 October
Topic: Cybersecurity in iGaming and eSports

REVULN 20×1 – Manila (Philippines)
Event: December 2-4
Topic: Cybersecurity and hacking communities

What’s Your Prediction for 2021 In A Post-Covid-19 World? Will Virtual Events Take Over Or Will We See A Return To The “Traditional Physical Events” Format?

I think that the trend of online events will continue to be strong even after the current emergency because there are so many opportunities for both speakers and participants, at no cost, and not time-consuming.
Knowledge can spread via the Internet without any restrictions and immediately.

But a virtual event will never, ever, be able to replace the emotions, memories, social interactions, and traveling experiences offered by in-person events.

Therefore the traditional events will return slightly different for accomplishing the new normal and will be a complement of the online ones.”

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