Northern Michigan University will host an Upper Peninsula Cybersecurity Symposium and Incident Response Workshops Monday, Sept. 25, through Wednesday, Sept. 27. The event is free and open to the public, but there are limited spaces. It covers cybersecurity topics pertaining to K-12 technology, healthcare, small business, local government and critical infrastructure.
Michael Sauer, the new director of the U.P. Cybersecurity Institute (UPCI) on NMU's campus, said the goal of the symposium is to bring together multiple state, federal and civilian cybersecurity resources to connect with regional cybersecurity practitioners and decision-makers.
“With the U.P. being a rural area, it's really hard for a lot of our local cybersecurity practitioners to get away to Las Vegas or other metropolitan areas,” Sauer said. “So, it's really a great shared resource for people, and it's open to everyone. It could be a student. It could be someone who's in the cybersecurity program at Northern. Cybersecurity is not only important for businesses or local governments, but also most of us as digital citizens.”
Speakers include Kelly Goldblatt of Critical Infrastructure and Security Administration, Andy Brush of Michigan Cyber Partners, Deputy Chief Security Officer for the State of Michigan Jason Cavendish, Brandon Smith of Michigan Cyber Command with the state police, Deon Lorenz of the Department of Homeland Security and UPCI's own Matt Landers, a “Red Team Hacker” who gets paid to break into networks to test their security.
The first day of the symposium runs from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and provides attendees with the latest information and updates on Michigan cybersecurity initiatives, particularly on the current threat landscape, possible actors and incident response planning. After lunch there will be breakout sessions covering the same topics, followed by an optional networking session.
Day two is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and focuses on incident response and resources. Participants will be able to hear from and engage with federal, state and local cybersecurity professionals regarding resources and services available to increase “cyber hygiene” in organizations.
The final day of the symposium will run from 8 a.m. to noon. The session will focus on cybersecurity workforce development and training, as well as understanding the mindset of a cyber-based attacker. It will also show how to effectively navigate the media and communications during a cyber incident response.
The event was made possible by sponsors such as the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, The North Cross Group, Lasco and the HealthCare Information Management Systems Society Michigan Chapter.
There is an optional breakfast at 8 a.m. every day of the symposium, and lunch will be provided most days. To learn more, and to register for the symposium, click here.