International Summit to Address Cyber Security at Cobo Center

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Cyber security experts from around the world are headed to Detroit for the 2014 North American International Cyber Summit, to be held Monday at Cobo Center.

“The bad guys are getting better everyday,” says David Behen, Michigan CIO and director of the Department of Technology, Management, and Budget. “It’s a constant challenge to ensure that we’re protecting all of our data, but Gov. Rick Snyder has taken a strong leadership role about (cyber security) and how important it is for our economy.”

This is the third time the Snyder administration has organized the conference, previously called the Michigan Cyber Summit. Attendees can expect to hear about the impact of cyber threats and the different types of public-private partnerships that aim to combat them.

“The governor is going to talk his strategy going forward, and one of those (points) is to keep pushing education and awareness,” Behen says. “Because 80 percent of cyber attacks can be stopped with what they call ‘good cyber hygiene.’”

Best practices entail knowing what online risks to avoid, one of the most prevalent being spear phishing, where a hacker sends an email that appears to be from a familiar business or a friend. Within the email there is usually a link that connects to malware that can open up the individual or organization to a virus and related attacks.

“It’s something that my federal, public, and private partners deal with daily,” Behen says.

During the conference, select organizations will be split into two teams where they will participate in an international cyber range exercise. Some teams will be on the offensive, while others will be on the defensive, as they try to hack into each other’s networks or prevent those hacks from happening.

“It’s all a game, but they’ll be learning and understanding how important teamwork is in cyber security,” Behen says, comparing the exercise to R&D on a missile or gun range. “And if you’re at the conference, you’ll be able to watch (the exercise) on big screen TVs.”

Admission to the conference is $99 for the general public and $79 for students or members of select organizations. For more information, click here

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