Whatcom Community College Partners with Technology Alliance Group to Bring Cyber Risk Summit to Bellingham



Submitted by Whatcom Community College

Cyber attacks are widely recognized as one of the most significant threats facing business today. While not long ago lone hackers were the only concern, threats have evolved to include attacks by organized cyber criminals, disgruntled employees and even sovereign governments. Distributed networks, unsecure vendors and an array of mobile devices have complicated these issues as well. The Economist Magazine in February 2014 estimated cybercrime costs the world $113 billion a year and affect 378 million people, and estimated malicious cyber attacks in 2012 cost U.S. companies $277 for each customer’s or user’s account put at risk.

To help business owners understand and address these issues, the Technology Alliance Group for Northwest Washington (TAG) has joined forces with Whatcom Community College – the lead institution of Cyber Watch West – and Western Washington University to bring a cutting-edge Cyber Risk Summit to the Northwest business community on October 30.

“Cyber risk is a massive threat to the strength and resiliency of our region’s businesses. The threat must be approached holistically,” said Meg Weber, Executive Director for TAG. “It’s no longer a question of if you will be compromised, but how and when. Through this summit, TAG, Whatcom Community College and Western Washington University have partnered to connect businesses with experts who can help them address strategies for Cybersecurity. Businesses must understand their risk, should have a plan ready, and everyone in the organization must be a part of that plan for it to be executed properly. ”

“As a leader in the field of cybersecurity education, Whatcom Community College is honored to host the Cyber Risk Summit,” says WCC President Kathi Hiyane-Brown. “A skilled cyber workforce is a critical link in our nation’s cyber defense. At Whatcom, we’re training and graduating highly qualified cybersecurity professionals who will help businesses develop and activate plans to combat cyber risk.”

The Cyber Risk Summit will be held October 30 at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham. Speakers include:

  • Agnes Kirk, Chief Information Security Officer for the State of Washington
  • Timothy Wallach, Supervisory Special Agent of the FBI who leads the Cyber Task Force in the Seattle Field Office
  • Gerald Baron, crisis communications expert and author of “Now Is Too Late”
  • Shay Colson, cyber-security engineer for the US Treasury Department
  • Mark Anderson, Founder and CEO, Strategic News Service and SNS Conference Corp (parent of Future in Review Conferences)
  • Jim Straatman, Technologist at Faithlife
  • And other experts…

In response to the extreme workforce shortage in this field, Whatcom Community College and Western Washington University recently launched an innovative partnership for higher education degrees in cybersecurity. This conference will highlight the Northwest’s higher education competency and present to businesses the additional critical importance of shoring up resources around cyber threats across organizations. Cybercrime has been increasing worldwide, and the risks and liabilities to businesses have been increasing along with it. Cybersecurity now affects every department from legal to HR and administration, forcing the need for a proactive and comprehensive approach to preventing and protecting against cyber risks. The Cyber Risk Summit will provide those in attendance with a scorecard by which they may assess the overall health of their organization in order to identify strengths and weaknesses in their company’s cybersecurity plans.

Individual early-bird registration for this one-day event is $195 and includes continental breakfast, lunch and an evening networking event. Space is limited! To learn more and to register for this event online, visit www.cyberrisksummit.org.


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