Cyber Huntsville To Host 5th Annual Security Summit

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) -- The North Alabama Chapter of the Information Systems Security Association and Cyber Huntsville are hosting Huntsville's fifth annual Cyber Security Summit on Thursday, June 6 at the Von Braun Center.

The theme of this year's cyber security summit is "Lean Six Cyber: Continuous Improvement Across All Cyber Domains."

Approximately 500 people are expected to attend this year, an increase over last year. The all day event includes management and technical presentations, a slate of industry recognized speakers and exhibits my major security vendors.

"In recent public comments senior officials from the Department of Defense and the office of the director of national intelligence have identified cyber as among the most significant threats faced by the U.S. today," says Jon Levin, spokesman for Cyber Huntsville and attorney with Maynard, Cooper and Gale law firm.

Organizers with Cyber Huntsville say attendees will benefit from a variety of technical and management presentations to discuss such issues as the impacts of cyber attacks as well as keynote presentations from world-class speakers. The keynote speaker at this year's summit are Brigadier General Allen Harrell, Director, Joint Staff, Alabama Joint Force Headquarters, and Lieutenant General Ronald L. Burgess, Jr. (Ret.).

Many consider the summit to be the preeminent cyber security event in the Tennessee Valley.

"The summit is an opportunity to network with peers, showcase solutions and learn new skills," says summit chairman Jason Cuneo. Industry professionals can also earn up to 8 continuing professional education credits through attendance.

"Cyber security is no longer the sole concern of the IT department," says Mayor Tommy Battle. "The growing challenge is well represented in the diverse group of thought leaders from business, government and academia that will attend the summit."

Earlier this year President Obama issued an executive order aimed at assisting the nation's critical infrastructure industries in creating and maintaining standards to protect against cyber attacks and in sharing that cyber attack information.

"Almost every one of these 16 critical infrastructure industries is a prominent part of Alabama's economy," Jon Levin says.

Despite the federal government's recent initiatives to improve security, Levin says hard and fast mandatory regulations are now stuck in a federal balancing act between security and privacy.

"The Department of Homeland Security has to start working towards creating privacy legislation or privacy regulations that protect people and companies from having to divulge information."

Proceeds from the cyber security summit are allocated to a scholarship fund for students majoring in the information systems security field at the undergraduate or graduate level. The scholarships are intended to encourage study and research in information security with a goal to further the professionalism and expertise in the field.

Huntsville City Schools recently partnered with U.S. Army Cyber Command to focus on the next generation of a cyber-security work force.

Levin says there are hundreds of local companies working extremely hard to protect against the cyber security threat.

"Both with the military and the critical infrastructure industries, so both through government and commercial contracts and it really is central to the future growth of Huntsville."

Click here for information on early registration for this year's cyber security summit.

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