Speaker Engagements


Misha Glenny speaks to corporate, public sector and festival audiences about Cyber Security and Hackers, Fake News and Disinformation, Global Organised Crime, and Geopolitics.

An experienced broadcaster and investigative journalist, Misha had some early training as an actor so knows how to tell a story. He delivers his keynote speeches with humour, charisma and first-hand insight into the criminal mind.

In his keynotes, Misha identifies Communication as the biggest failure of the cyber security industry. The gulf between information security and other departments leads to alarming shortcomings in a company’s cyber culture; increasing risk and vulnerability. Using visual examples which are in turn hilarious and frightening, Misha explains how cyber security needs to be integrated into all aspects of business. By drawing on the many interviews he has undertaken with cyber criminals, he reveals surprising aspects to their motivation and characters.

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Cybersecurity is Made Out of People

When it comes to protecting your business from cyber threats, expensive digital security systems are only part of the solution. You can build a digital fortress, but you can’t stop your employees accidentally or intentionally letting the bad guys in through the front door. Based on his interviews with criminal hackers and intelligence agents, Misha reveals the jaw-dropping social engineering that is employed with great success by many modern ‘hackers’, explains how you can safeguard your business against it, and demonstrates why these techniques are at the centre of a monumental battle between the US, Europe, Russia and China.

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In a talk that is alternately funny and frightening, Misha Glenny looks at why humans are the greatest vulnerability in networked computer systems. He explains how Communication has emerged as the greatest failure of the cyber security industry and why, as a consequence, companies and individuals are struggling to defend themselves from multiple threats. Misha contrasts the cunning stories devised by social engineers who persuade people to do silly things on their computers with the failure of the cyber security community to come up with counter-narratives. Misha has interviewed cyber criminals from across the world to reveal how they exploit this failure for considerable personal gain.

Having worked as a consultant to companies across Britain and Europe, Misha will also explain how one can reduce vulnerability and improve communication at relatively little cost. But he warns that the need to educate society in the vital understanding of security is going to be a harder process. His brilliantly selected clips and his own animation sequences are as entertaining as they are enlightening.

But increasingly cyber criminals have been deepening their links with both traditional organised crime – mafias from across the world – and in many cases, with state security services. In a finale that draws on breath-taking and unique research material, Misha explains the genesis and flowering of cooperation between these groups. He places this in a broad geo-political context of cyber policy. Unlike with all other weapons and communications networks, the great cyber powers, the US, Russia, China and the EU, have never agreed on any ‘rules of the road.’ This has created a dangerously chaotic environment where companies and institutions must develop a flexible intelligence capacity to reduce risk to the minimum possible.

Cryptocurrencies and blockchain – Two sides of the same Bitcoin.

Why are central governments so terrified of cryptocurrencies? And just what are blockchain, bitcoin and Web 3.0 anyway? Misha explains all this and more in an illuminating talk that takes us on a journey through the darker side of these technologies and their implications for you, your company and the world at large.

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Suddenly, we are all expected to understand BitCoin, blockchain technology and Web 3.0. Phew! If you don’t yet get it but you need to, then this is the presentation for you. Not surprisingly, Misha focusses some of his talk on the dark side of Blockchain. BitCoin and other cryptocurrencies have become a useful tool in the arsenal of cyber criminals.

Like with so many innovative technologies, criminals were among the first to appreciate the value of potential uses of BitCoin and other cryptocurrencies. Indeed, until mainstream investors started speculating with BitCoin, turbo-boosting its price at one point to $20,000, almost its only use was to purchase illicit goods and services on the DarkNet.

But Blockchain, or Digital Ledger Technology, goes way beyond crime. DLT partisans believe that cryptocurrencies and its underlying technology have the potential to change the fundamental nature of the web and how we do business. For many innovators, Blockchain will profoundly alter the relationship between individual computer users and companies, on the one hand, and the mega digital corporates like Google and Facebook, on the other. When fully developed, Blockchain’s decentralised transparency will enable us to take control of our data. In the Web 3.0, as this near future is known, the giants of the digital age will no longer be able to sell our data willy-nilly as they do now. They will have to buy that data from us.

Equally, the transformative power of closed Blockchain systems within companies will be able to identify mistakes and strategic trends in a company’s performance well in advance of today’s capacity.

Central governments are wary of Blockchain and terrified of cryptocurrencies because they threaten the dominance of fiat currencies (those which are backed by a strong tax-payer base). And so several battles have broken out around this technology which pit criminals, governments, innovators and businesses in a four-way battle characterised by shifting alliances. Misha will explain to you who are your friends in this brave but baffling new world. And, perhaps more importantly, who your enemies are.

The Real McMafia – The Rise of Organised Crime and Global Money Laundering

HSBC, Barclays, Deutsche Bank… an increasing number of the world’s leading financial institutions have fallen foul of criminals looking to turn their filthy lucre into nice clean cash. But how do they do it? Using clips from his TV Show McMafia, Misha will reveal staggering details about how organised crime went global, how some of the most spectacular money launderers duped the banks, and what dangers lie in wait for the financial world if this problem is not taken seriously.

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HSBC, Barclays, Deutsche Bank, Danske Bank…more and more of the world’s leading financial institutions are fallen foul of major money-laundering schemes. Banks, hedge funds and private wealth management companies are targeted by criminals, corrupt politicians and unscrupulous companies who want to turn their filthy lucre into nice clean cash.

For many years, the Compliance Department was the Cinderella of the financial world. As our economies expanded at a breath-taking rate on the back of global financial expansion during the 1990s and the 2000s, Compliance officers were regarded as an irritation who provided little value to the overall competitiveness of a corporation.

But after the bubble burst spectacularly in 2008, governments began to take a very close interest in how the financial world was policing itself – and they didn’t like what they saw. Now banks are required to undertake strenuous checks to see if the organisation is being exploited by the corrupt. Compliance Officers are exerting ever greater influence within the City.

Although investment bankers and hedge funders feel they are being picked on, the renewed scrutiny over their activities might be their salvation. The public remains deeply suspicious of banks and their role in the crash of 2008 and it is in their best interests to show that they are working on behalf of their ordinary customers, and not for the benefit of the corrupt and the criminal.

In an electric talk, in which Misha traces the rise of Gangster Capitalism and global money-laundering since the fall of communism, Misha unpicks the dangers for the financial world if they don’t take this problem seriously both at the Customer Relationship level and at the board level.

Using clips from his TV Show McMafia and new revelations about how some of the most spectacular money launderers duped the banks, Misha gives everyone cause for serious reflection.

Geopolitics – how the hell did we get here and where are we going?

The chaos of Brexit. Trump. Runaway climate change. After forty years of travelling the world and speaking to many of the main players - from Clinton to Putin, from Milosevic to Boris Johnson - Misha Glenny is in a unique position to explain what has really been going on in the world over the past three decades and, most importantly, to predict what risks the future may hold and how we may go about navigating them.

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How in the hell did we get where we are? The chaos of Brexit. Trump. Runaway climate change. The Middle East in flames. A neo-fascist party in the German parliament. Russia using chemical weapons abroad. And China and America squaring up for a mighty trade battle which has the potential to shake the entire global economy.

After forty years of travelling the world and speaking to many of the main players from Clinton to Putin, from Milosevic to Boris Johnson, Misha Glenny is in a unique position to explain what has been going wrong in the world over the past three decades and how we might get out of the mess.

Although most widely-known for his work on global organised crime, Misha has been consulting governments on policy issues and writing detailed modern history for even longer. Beyond the headlines, Misha can explain to you how why Donald Trump won’t criticise Vladimir Putin. He will also tell you how the Russian President is gently nudging his US counterpart into escalating America’s trade war with China. He will reveal why Germany always seeks closer relations with Russia than other EU countries and why that is bad news for Britain.

If you have ever wondered why odd things happen in the world, Misha will have already looked behind the teeth and smiles of the photo opportunity to explain what really lies behind the grin. If you are interested in learning about the Americas, Western and Eastern Europe, Southern Africa, Turkey and the Middle East or Chinese foreign policy, Misha will offer you an eye-opening talk that will always be surprising and illuminating.



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