With news of a major breach at Equifax in the headlines, planning for DC CyberWeek seems particularly timely.
To be fair, CyberScoop, part of the D.C.–based tech media company Scoop News Group, planned for the mid-October affair because October is National Cyber Security Awareness month. However, with a data breach that’s impacted potentially 143 million consumers, Greg Otto, Managing Editor for CyberScoop, sees how the fallout emphasizes the urgency of their cause.
“We put too much faith in institutions that they’re protecting our information,” Otto explained. “We’re going to come to a point where just as a citizen in America, as a citizen online, you’re going to need to understand how these systems work.”
Understanding how these systems work doesn’t necessarily mean running out to grab a graduate degree. Gaining basic knowledge in cyber security can mean simple things like brushing up on password management, understanding if that https:// site is actually secure. There’s also knowledge to be gained at the free week of events during DC CyberWeek.
From October 16-20, DC CyberWeek will host talks, panels, receptions and even a startup pitch competition hosted by Eastern Foundry.
“We want to bring people together in order to figure out some way so that stuff doesn’t happen as frequently as it is right now,” Otto explained.
While that goal may seem broad, Otto and the CyberScoop team believe that their success hinges on their ability to bring people together and form sustainable relationships in the cybersecurity community.
It seems that no one can escape cyber threats these days — from political parties to even the King in the North.
As the threats in cybersecurity outpace the community itself, the need for innovative thinking has multiplied. According to New America’s Cybersecurity Initiative the solution is rather simple: diversity.
Despite a projected 1.8 million shortages in the workforce, women, for example, currently represent only 11 percent of professionals in the cybersecurity community.
It’s issues like this that are central to Laura Bate‘s work as senior program associate at New America’s Cybersecurity Initiative.
“The shortage of workers in the cybersecurity industry is an economic and security problem that we are working to confront through better alignment of the training pipeline and the hiring community, and through opening the aperture of who we perceive as a ‘fit’ for the workforce,” Bate wrote in an email.
To address the importance of diversity in solving today’s challenges in cybersecurity, New America Cybersecurity Initiative will host a panel on Aug. 11 at their 15th Street location in D.C.