For a cybersecurity strategy to succeed, collaboration is vital – whether that’s between teams, organizations or federal agencies.

That was one of many key takeaways at the State of Cyber Conference held in downtown St. Louis on Dec. 1-2.  This event was the result of the country’s top law enforcement agencies coming together to discuss the current cyber threat landscape.

Developed along with the St. Louis InfraGard Alliance and the local offices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the US Secret Service, with presentations from the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), this conference was attended by hundreds of senior cybersecurity professionals from across the region.

“When we first started State of Cyber [in 2016], our goal was to get more partnership between the fed agencies and local resources for the 16 critical infrastructures that InfraGard serves,” said David Wren, president of St. Louis InfraGard.

The conference featured content that was exclusive for attendees only, including a briefing from the FBI on the current state of cybersecurity in the region – namely, its work in combatting ransomware. Attendees also heard from the Department of Homeland Security CISA on how their organizations can partner with the agency to protect themselves against the many threats that are out there.

The two-day conference closed with an inter-agency panel, featuring representatives from:

  •       The US Secret Service
  •       St. Louis Fusion Center
  •       Missouri Department of Public Safety
  •       DHS-CISA
  •       Missouri State Highway Patrol

During this exclusive session, the experts discussed ways their agencies collaborate with each other and with the public to ensure a high-end cybersecurity infrastructure in the region.

AS SEEN ON TV

It wasn’t just the local cybersecurity pros who took notice of the State of Cyber Conference. Several local news organizations took note of the high-profile speakers list and timeliness of the event.

“The State of Cyber 2021 is a great opportunity for the Secret Service to meet with corporations and security directors to talk about the trends and tactics we’re seeing imposed on the civilian population and also corporations themselves,” US Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Thomas Landry told Fox2Now. Landry is based in the St. Louis field office, and was featured as a key speaker during the conference. His session, given in collaboration with USSS Senior Special Agent Brian Cockrill, was titled “The USSS Cyber Fraud Task Force Model.” This session gave attendees a better understanding of how the agency, which is (in part) designed to fight financial crimes against US citizens, can aid organizations when it comes to avoiding, combatting and reporting cyber crimes. 

Data Connectors CEO Dawn Morrissey highlighted ransomware as one of the biggest cyber threats for KMOV4 viewers regarding one of the biggest cyber threats facing companies of all sizes: ransomware.

“It’s continued to increase, not only the amount of ransom demands, but the frequency of attacks,” she said in the news report. “And it’s affecting everyone from businesses, all the way up to large corporations.”

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

The Data Connectors team is continuing to partner with InfraGard to present the State of Cyber Virtual Cybersecurity Summit – a complementary, fully online session intended for cyber professionals in the Midwest and Great Lakes region on Dec. 14-15.

This fully virtual experience features similar panels and discussions from the high-profile lineup of speakers, including an interactive inter-agency panel. Registration is still available.

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