Cybersecurity event will bring federal expertise to campus

Illustration of lock on a circuit board

Federal agents from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation and other agencies will bring national and regional expertise on cybersecurity threats to the University of Oregon campus this month.

Their destination will be the Oregon Cyber Resilience Summit on Monday, Oct. 29, at the Erb Memorial Union. The event is open to students, faculty members, staff and the community at large.

FBI and DHS agents will join information security professionals and other representatives from the Port of Portland, Eugene Water and Electric Board, Selco Community Credit Union and other organizations to provide briefings and share best practices for defending digital and physical infrastructure from cybercrime.

The UO is cohosting the event with Lane Community College, partnering closely with regional staff from the FBI, DHS, Oregon TITAN Fusion Center and other entities.

Registration is free for students, faculty members and staff from the UO and LCC. Others can attend for a $30 fee. The registration deadline is Friday, Oct. 19.

"It’s fitting that we are hosting this conference during National Cyber Security Awareness Month because I firmly believe that our greatest weapon against cyberthreats is awareness by every member of our community," said Leo Howell, the UO's chief information security officer, who is spearheading the event. "I am excited about the 'whole community' approach that will be emphasized during this conference."

Talks will address topics such as social media and the dark web, protection measures for Oregon's elections and steps individuals can take to protect themselves from cyberattacks. Dual technical and nontechnical sessions will cater to IT and cybersecurity professionals and general audiences alike.

The summit will feature a keynote address from Bradford Willke, acting national director for stakeholder engagement and cyber infrastructure resilience in the Department of Homeland Security.

Howell encourages UO students in particular to attend.

"I am hoping that our students participating in the event — from LCC, UO and even high schoolers — will be inspired to join in the fight against cyberthreats," he said.

The event is sponsored by several cybersecurity companies that conduct business in Oregon, including the summit's gold sponsor, Fortinet.

More information, including the registration form and full agenda, is available on the event webpage.

—By Nancy Novitski, University Communications