Data security is symbolized through glowing locks and binary code

Summiting ‘The Mount Everest of Business Challenges’

Out of all the threats an organization must be prepared to mitigate, one can be especially damaging if not addressed: information security. Just as soon as defenses in one area are bolstered, another vulnerability could be exposed, leading to all kinds of disastrous fallout. 

“This is like the Mount Everest of business challenges coming up,” said Jared Hoskins, chief operating officer and chief information officer for Strong Connexions, a cybersecurity and information technology support company out of Salt Lake City. 

With that in mind, Weber State University, Utah’s Procurement Technical Assistance Center and Strong Connexions are hosting the Western States Data Security Summit on Sept. 28. With a focus on empowering attendees with actionable items to improve cybersecurity and remain eligible for government contracts, this summit will help you identify where your gaps are and how to fix them — no scare tactics involved.

Further, it brings together government, academia and industry, a winning combination to address cybersecurity challenges and safety measures, those that are general best practices for any business or organization as well as those mandated under federal contracting requirements.

“It's going to take all of us working together in many different ways to strengthen our cyber defenses and resilience,” Hoskins said. 

The summit will enable you to anticipate your organization’s data security needs, become familiar with federal government regulations pertaining to information security and start getting ready to meet mandates in order to do business with the federal government. Breakout sessions will include first-step security processes, technical solutions to security requirements, security expectations for government subcontractors and more. 

The event will also include keynotes from accomplished experts: Stacy Bostjanick is the focal point and primary implementer of Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) for the Department of Defense. Matt Travis is the first chief executive officer of the Cyber Accreditation Body (Cyber AB). The Cyber AB works with thousands of companies that support the DOD. 

Additional presenters include Kelley Kiernan, chief technology officer for the Department of the Air Force, and others. 

In addition to attending the summit, you can also take advantage of WSU’s NIST-800 course and CMMC course. NIST-800, a course that is held in partnership with Strong Connexions, will help you create a security checklist and help you address your organization's greatest vulnerabilities: your people. It will also equip you with tools and resources to manage and maintain your organization's information security. CMMC dives even deeper into these subjects and focuses on preparing specific personnel for taking the CMMC exam. "Don't wait for government to drive change," Hoskins said. "Begin now, and you can make a difference that will benefit current and future generations."

We hope you take advantage of these opportunities and better protect your organization from cyber attacks.