Cyber Security Conference Back At It Again

JACK DURA | THE SPECTRUM March 17's Cyber Security Conference will showcase topics ranging from the STEM gender gap to Google hacks.
March 17’s Cyber Security Conference will showcase topics ranging from the STEM gender gap to Google hacks.

In its second year, the Cyber Security Conferences has grown to draw more participants, speakers and even North Dakota University System chancellor Mark Hagerott.

The 2016 conference, open from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 17 in the Memorial Union, will include two keynote speakers, one of them Hagerott, and 19 concurrent sessions in four tracks, Amber Rasche, IT communications coordinator, said in a news release. Registration is open through Thursday.

“These learning tracks allow students, faculty and staff to engage in different areas of cyber security including education, governance, technology and private vendors,” Rasche said.

Sam Mayer, a senior in computer science, attended last year’s conference “and found the entire experience extremely educational,” he said.

At last years’ conference, Mayer said he “attended more of the technical presentations.” One presentation by risk executive Mike Saunders on physical security had him “trying nearly every door” as he walked by.

“(I) was surprised at how many of them opened,” Mayer said.

He also attended sessions on password security and a session on managing threat intelligence, among others.

Sarah Russell, IT web and social media communications specialist, said, “Last year, there were more than 250 attendees” from “all across North Dakota.”

The theme for this year’s conference is: “Cyber Security is Our Shared Responsibility.” Conference sponsors will be available throughout the day to visit with attendees.

Russell said over 270 individuals are registered for the conference.

“(We) are always looking to increase student engagement,” she added.

“Every single one of us depends on those who have technical knowledge to implement and be responsible for things like network maintenance or app development,” Mayer said.

Speakers and presenters will discuss a range of topics, from the STEM gender gap to personal experiences to Google hacking.

Hagerott is the morning keynote speaker. He will “provide a perspective on technological change and historic events now upon us,” the conference’s webpage said.

Hagerott’s background in cyber security includes a U.S. Navy tenure, the Department of Defense and service “as the senior civilian and deputy director of the Center for Cyber Security Studies at the Naval Academy and (service) on the Defense Science Board study of unmanned systems,” the conference’s news release said.

The afternoon keynote speaker is Kristin Judge, National Cyber Security Alliance director of special projects. She will discuss how cybersecurity is a shared responsibility.

Judge’s experience includes work with Google, the Federal Trade Commission, the Better Business Bureau and other stakeholders, the news release said.

“This realm of cyber security poses one of the biggest potential threats to a system that we have wholeheartedly wrapped our lives around,” Mayer said. “Taking the time to attend the conference or even just follow a cyber security news site on Twitter will go miles for your personal understanding.”

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