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Cybersecurity Summit Returns to Mississippi College


Visit css.mc.edu for conference information

In 2019, nations are fighting cyberwar battles. The possibility of more widespread data breaches around the globe remains a costly concern to businesses, governments, colleges and individuals.

To get a better grip on the growing problem, Mississippi College leaders will host the 2nd annual Cybersecurity Summit on the Clinton campus. The conference is set for April 10.

Last year’s event attracted 250 visitors with strong support from key sponsors.

The topic is so timely – as fresh as today’s news headlines. Companies that suffered damaging data breaches in 2018 included Delta Airlines, Amazon, Facebook, Under Armour, and Kmart, to name a few,  “Forbes” magazine reports.

The USA continues to be concerned about allegations of Russian tampering in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections. Phishing is getting more sophisticated these days, “Forbes” stated in a December 28, 2018 article titled “Cybersecurity Predictions 2019.”

It makes the complex subject so relevant to people who will soak up ideas at Mississippi College from some of America’s premier cybersecurity professionals.

Speakers booked for the Spring summit include Tobias Klauder, chief operating officer at ModusBox, Scott Marticke, president of Breakaway Consulting, and Shawn Wolfe, agent in charge of the Jackson office of the U.S. Secret Service.

Other speakers listed include Brad Pigott, director of information technology with Vital Care, Inc. and Mark Goldman, partner and co-founder of The Salus Group. Dr. Craig Lowery, vice president and analyst with the Gartner, Inc., a global research and advisory firm, will offer his take on cybersecurity issues. So will Johnny Sanders, managing consultant with BKD CPAs and Advisors.

At last year’s conference, representatives from banks, insurance companies, law firms, hospitals, and schools listened to the experts. They also received continuing education credits to enhance their professional skills.

“It is very hot button,” said Bill Cranford, MC’s chief information officer. “There are a wide variety of issues regarding cybersecurity.”

The 2019 Mississippi College Cybersecurity Summit seeks to “engage, educate and raise awareness about cybersecurity across the nation,” organizers say.

It’s going to stir interest once again for employees in professions from healthcare to government to education as well as the business world.

Job prospects for the cybersecurity industry across the USA look good. There should be 1.8 million cyber security jobs by 2022.

In Fall 2017, Mississippi College launched a cybersecurity certificate and master’s program. The master’s degree (10 courses) can be completed in five semesters. Classes are designed to help professionals broaden their understanding of cybersecurity issues.

One of the popular attractions from the 2018 Cybersecurity Summit on the Clinton campus was the Mississippi National Guard’s high-tech communications truck. It is known as the United Command Suite. It remains Mississippi’s go-to communications truck traveling to disasters like the Deep Water Horizon Spill, Hurricane Katrina and Spring flooding in the Delta.

At the MC conference, speakers reported that widespread data breaches happen almost year-round. Yet, 21 percent of corporations fail to do security testing.

For more information on the conference, visit css.mc.edu or contact computer science professor Melissa Wiggins, the event coordinator at mwiggins@mc.edu or 601-925-3874.