RI’s higher education CIOs join with global cybersecurity experts from top firms for virtual panel discussion
Chief Information Officers representing seven of Rhode Island’s higher education institutions will be joined by global cybersecurity firm executives and leaders for a panel discussion designed to help organizations maintain an effective posture against the ever-changing threats from an invisible enemy. Organized by Salve Regina in partnership with OSHEAN, “How’s Your Security Posture?” will serve as a resource for executive-level managers. The one-hour discussion is being presented live via Webex on Wednesday, Dec. 2 at 2 p.m. Member of the public are welcome to attend.
The expert panelists, whose job is to research, understand and defend against ongoing cyber threats, will share their knowledge to help organizations develop a deeper understanding of how to protect themselves against attacks and breaches. Jim Ludes, vice president of public research and initiatives and executive director of Salve Regina’s Pell Center, will moderate the discussion.
Cyber threats on the rise
“With the Covid-19 pandemic continuing to disrupt global health, economic, political and social systems, cybersecurity threats are rising dramatically,” said Irving Bruckstein, chief information officer & chief information security officer at Salve Regina. “The risk of cyberattacks coupled to our now increased reliance on digital tools and the uncertainty of the crisis creates a time of increased vulnerability and risks.”
Bruckstein said cybersecurity measures matter now more than ever due to a heightened dependency on digital systems and infrastructure, cybercrime exploiting fear and uncertainty, and more online time leading to riskier behaviors.
“Awareness of the current threat landscape and understanding the tools and methods needed to defend against cyber attacks is critical for ensuring business continuity during these extraordinary times,” Bruckstein said.
David Marble is the CEO of OSHEAN, which is a non-profit coalition of universities, K-12 schools, libraries, hospitals, government agencies and other non-profit organizations dedicated to providing innovative Internet-based technology solutions for its member institutions and the communities they serve. He agrees that it is an extremely difficult time for cybersecurity.
“The cybersecurity landscape is one of the most challenging I have ever seen in my career in IT,” said Marble. “The bad actors continue to innovate — putting us on constant defense, challenging our ability to understand the technical marketplace while mapping to the realities of budget.”
Defensive superiority is achievable
“Today’s cybercriminals are taking advantage of the new reality of greater digital dependency and accelerated technology adoption,” said Marcus Fowler, director of strategic threat at Darktrace, which provides comprehensive, enterprise-wide cyber defense by using artificial intelligence to more than 4,000 organizations worldwide. “As we look to secure users, both employees and students, from more dynamic places and on new platforms, traditional security approaches are falling short or, at the very least, failing to empower security teams in keeping up.”
Fowler was a CIA officer for more than 15 years, which made it vital for him to have a threat actor centric approach to security. However, Fowler has learned in the last 15 months in the private sector that companies, schools and institutions can achieve defensive superiority by turning the optic inward and understanding and enforcing what normal is for their digital environment.
“This allows security teams to be threat agnostic, whether a zero-day, malicious insider, or third-party supply chain vulnerability,” said Fowler. “The application of artificial intelligence in the security space is augmenting human teams and providing the unparalleled environment visibility and awareness, conducting autonomous incident triage to accelerate investigations and save critical time, and taking action at the earliest moments to disrupt even the most sophisticated internal or external attack.”
On the panel
- Jon E. Bartelson, chief information officer at Rhode Island College.
- Irving Bruckstein, chief information officer & CISO at Salve Regina University.
- Chuck LoCurto, vice president & chief information officer at Bryant University.
- Paul Fontaine, chief information officer at Providence College.
- Marcus Fowler, director of strategic threat at Darktrace.
- Karlis Kaugars, chief information officer at the University of Rhode Island.
- Jacques Laflamme, chief information officer at New England Institute of Technology.
- Rick Mickool, chief information officer at Rhode Island School of Design.
- John Mumford, president and chief risk officer of Fellsway Group.
More information on hosting organizations
Salve Regina University
More than 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students are enrolled from across the U.S. and around the world in 45 undergraduate majors, 13 master’s degree programs, 12 combined bachelor’s/master’s programs, and doctoral programs in humanities, international relations and nursing.
Its ‘Cyber@Salve’ approach pursues innovative ideas through interdisciplinary course offerings, research and programs. Faculty use their unique experience and breadth of expertise to work with students and the broader Rhode Island community to develop a more resilient cyberspace, drawing on theory, policy and technical approaches to develop solution sets that meet the needs of law enforcement, justice, national security and homeland security professionals at the local, state, regional, national and international levels.
OSHEAN is a non-profit coalition of universities, K-12 schools, libraries, hospitals, government agencies, and other non-profit organizations dedicated to providing innovative Internet-based technology solutions for its member institutions and the communities they serve.
OSHEAN is dedicated to building, through the use of innovative practices, a communications infrastructure that will serve the needs of the region’s K-20 education institutions, state and federal government agencies, non-profit research organizations, workforce development initiatives, and economic development efforts. OSHEAN is also committed to creating an environment that encourages collaboration and learning through shared experiences and resources to continually develop expertise within its member organizations.
Darktrace is a world’s leader in cyber AI and the creator of Autonomous Response technology. The global company provides comprehensive, enterprise-wide cyber defense to over 4,000 organizations worldwide, protecting the cloud, email, loT, networks, endpoints, and industrial systems.
A self-learning technology, Darktrace AI autonomously detects, investigates and responds to advanced cyber-threats, including insider threat, remote working risks, ransomware, data loss and supply chain vulnerabilities. The company has 1,300 employees and 44 office locations, with headquarters in Cambridge, UK and San Francisco. Every 3 seconds, Darktrace AI fights back against a cyber-threat, preventing it from causing damage.
The one-hour discussion is being presented live via Webex on Wednesday, Dec. 2 at 2 p.m.
Featured photo by Getty Images/marchmeena29