Former Homeland Security Head Tom Ridge to Discuss Cybersecurity April 29

| March 6, 2015
The Honorable Tom Ridge

The Honorable Tom Ridge

Tom Ridge, the first secretary to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, a former member of the House of Representatives and the former governor of Pennsylvania, will speak at the upcoming Gateway to Information technology conference at the America’s Center Convention Complex in downtown St. Louis on Wednesday, April 29. at 9:30 a.m. He is appearing on the invitation of Webster University, which is a diamond-level sponsor of the annual conference.

Secretary Ridge will discuss how critical cybersecurity and cyber insurance are to the future of national and global security. Based on his experience as head of homeland security and as governor of Pennsylvania, along with his post-government experience in the private sector, he will focus attention on the global and national strategic decisions surrounding cyberspace, and the new models where executive decisions surrounding security are based on the whole picture, rather than the focus purely on technology, process, or people.

Webster University President Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble will welcome attendees at the conference. For more information, or to register, visit

Roundtable Discussion

At 10:45 a.m., Webster University will host a roundtable discussion titled “Cybersecurity and Cyber Insurance – Don’t Miss the Arc of History.” Webster’s associate vice president and chief of Strategic Initiatives Tom Johnson and interim director of the Cybersecurity laboratory Fred Cohen, along with chair of Industrial Control System Chris Blask and former Gartner senior vice president and distinguished analyst Dan Blum, will discuss the history of cybersecurity, the development of cyber insurance, and why corporate and business leadership should be concerned about both topics.

“While corporations are increasingly reliant on the internet to increase their business and opportunity for growth; their risk of compromise and breach grows exponentially, simply due to the fact the original architecture of the internet was first built upon trust and not security,” said Johnson, one of the developers of the Webster Cybersecurity program.

“In the past 20 years, we have seen hacking turn into a more sophisticated and highly profitable criminal enterprise, and the primary targets are financial data and information held by businesses,” Johnson said. “As a result, it has been easier to attack businesses than to defend them simply due to the complexity of the internet; the increasing interdependencies among organizations; and the enhanced risks from outsourced contractual partners. Also increasing the risk equation are those new transformational technologies that create disruption in society such as the ‘internet of things’ which, in turn creates more vulnerabilities and risks for those in the ‘Cyber Insurance’ field.”

Cybersecurity Program at Webster

Webster University’s master’s degree program in Cybersecurity was established to help fill a staggering demand for cybersecurity training in the Colorado Springs area. The U.S. Air Force Space Command approached Webster to create the program due to the 1,400 employees who needed training in cybersecurity. Webster launched its Cybersecurity program in Colorado Springs in early 2014.

Since then, many businesses have approached Webster University asking that the program be expanded. It is now offered at several of Webster University’s locations across the country, including at its Gateway Campus in downtown St. Louis; Fort Belvoir, Virginia; Bolling Air Force Base in Washington, D.C.; Colorado Springs; and Orlando, Florida.  This year, Webster University is also offering a new Certificate in Cybersecurity-Threat Detection.


Category: Military, St. Louis Campus News

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