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When the annual California State Cyber ​​Security Education Virtual Summit meets this week, the stakes will be high.

As the public and private sectors are increasingly threatened by hackers, a range of speakers and breakout sessions will cover compliance, risk mitigation and solutions. Scheduled speakers will represent state government departments, universities, and private sector companies, with topics as diverse as containers, ransomware, public cloud threats, endpoint security, and cybersecurity education for individuals. California students from kindergarten through senior school – and beyond.

The annual event is co-presented by California State University, Sacramento; the California Department of Technology (CDT); the California Governor’s Emergency Services Office; the California Military Department (CMD); and the California Highway Patrol (CHP).

“This educational and information-rich summit offers the opportunity to receive continuing education units and provide cutting-edge information to identify, detect, protect, respond to and recover from the latest security risks and cybersecurity threats”, the event site States. “The summit is designed to engage the full spectrum of California cybersecurity professionals, whose roles and expertise range from highly technical to executive. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet the country’s leading solution providers and learn about the latest products and services for corporate cyber defense.

The five main speeches indicate the various topics covered and the approaches available to cybersecurity professionals:

  • “Mind the Gap: Eliifying Public Cloud Threat Vectors” will be presented by Srikanth Nellore, Senior Director of Cloud Protection Platforms for Zscaler.
  • “Why your organization’s endpoints are your greatest source of risk” will be the subject of Chris Cruz, chief information officer for the US state, locals and education for Tanium. Cruz is the former deputy state IT director, CDT deputy chief director and former San Joaquin County IT director.
  • “Beyond IT security, cyber-physical convergence is the way” will be the subject of Mark Weatherford, responsible for information security for Company Alert.
  • “Ransomware Risks” is the title of a conference that will feature Accenture executives Kelly bissell and David Fitch, with the RSSI of the state Vitaliy Panych; Chief Chris Childs, DSI for CHP; and the lieutenant colonel. Ty shepard of the CMD. Bissell, his company’s global chief security officer, will discuss “ransomware attacks, their obvious and less obvious impacts, and what organizations should do to best position themselves to mitigate risk and reduce vulnerability.”
  • “The sustainability of your safety program” is the main theme of Wendy Nather, Head of CISO Consulting for Cisco.

From the education sector, a panel including Dr. Keith Clement of the State of Cal Fresno, Jorge Avila CDT and Donna Woods of the Moreno Valley Unified School District will discuss the 55,487 cybersecurity jobs available in California and how to improve cybersecurity capabilities and reduce skills gaps through education, training and workforce development.

Cruz, who joined Tenable five months ago after decades in state government, will highlight how endpoint security as a concept is more important than ever with so many people in the public and private sectors working at distance, many on their own devices. He cited a California government entity that performed a security assessment and discovered thousands of terminals it did not know existed.

“In this distributed work environment that we have today, with people working from home, you have to manage right down to the endpoints, as people connect from their laptops, desktops, smartphones. Each of these endpoints, he said, is a potential hole in the cybersecurity barrier.

“The big risk for today’s CIOs and CISOs,” said Cruz in an interview with Technical wire, “How do you handle all of this in a hybrid work environment?” It used to be that we all came to an office and we all worked behind a firewall. Today it is a distributed work environment and people work in both areas. So it’s more important than ever that you have management and visibility across all of these endpoints. The hybrid model isn’t going to go away – it’s here to stay in government, and California is already benefiting from it. They will have to learn to manage and live in this hybrid model… and that increases your risk threshold.

The virtual summit takes place Tuesday and Wednesday, and more information and registration is available online. Technical wire will have coverage in the next few days.

Dennis Noone is Editor-in-Chief of Techwire. He is a career journalist, having worked as a reporter and editor for small town newspapers and major metro dailies in California, Nevada, Texas and Virginia, most notably as an editor for USA Today at Washington, DC. He lives in the foothills of Northern California.

See more stories from Dennis Noone


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