Webster University Hosts Cybersecurity Sessions at Major IT Conference with Tom Ridge

| April 30, 2015
Photos from the 2015 G2i Conference in downtown St.Louis, which Webster University was a Platinum Sponsor of.

President Stroble spoke to 500 attendees before the keynote address, noting Webster’s commitment to technology education in a fast-changing industry.

Webster University hosted two popular sessions at the Gateway to Innovation conference in downtown St. Louis Wednesday, including one featuring Tom Ridge, the first secretary of Homeland Security and former governor of Pennsylvania.

As an event co-sponsor, Webster also showcased its  cybersecurity program, with President Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble formally addressing technology conference attendees before the conference keynote address.

Stroble spoke of Webster’s commitment to technology education in the region and to keeping pace with the growing demand and changing needs of the tech industry.

Webster University’s first session featured Ridge, who was introduced by Ken Freeman, Webster’s vice president and chief information officer, and Tom Johnson, Webster’s associate vice president and chief of strategic initiatives. Ridge’s remarks were delivered to a standing room-only audience that also drew press. He stressed the importance of accepting two permanent conditions: that we are in a digital age and that terrorism is now global. The two are now merging through sophisticated cyber-attacks, he warned.

Photos from the 2015 G2i Conference in downtown St.Louis, which Webster University was a Platinum Sponsor of.

Tom Ridge discussed emerging cyber threats at a Webster-sponsored session at the Gateway To Innovation conference.

“There are two types of businesses today,” Ridge said to emphasize how quickly cyber-attacks have grown. “Either you have been hacked and you know it, or you have been hacked and you don’t know it.”

He said that companies today have to build a culture of resiliency and be proactive in order to survive. While he is sensitive to the need for privacy and the protection of personal information, he said government and organizations in both the private and public sectors must find a way to work closer together to fight cyber-attacks while also protecting consumers from invasions of privacy.

Cohen and Johnson on Cyber-Insurance

Ridge’s talk was followed by another packed session, a round-table discussion about Cyber-Insurance. This relatively new kind of insurance claim effectively transfers risk to protect companies from liability when their information systems are compromised. The session was moderated by Fred Cohen, director of Webster University’s Cybersecurity lab, and Johnson was one of the panelists. Other panelists included Dan Blum, former Gartner senior vice president, and Chris Blask, the chair of the Industrial Control System Information Sharing & Analysis Center.

They acknowledged many challenges to the still-maturing industry and warned attendees to cautiously examine policy terms and exclusions before purchasing.

President Stroble’s remarks, the graduate program info and the Webster-hosted sessions were met with warm support by more than 500 attendees, an audience that included around 20 IT staff from Webster.

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