Cyber security club hosts first ever cyber summit

Adam Kujawski

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akland University’s cyber security club hosted its first annual Cyber Summit on March 7. 

 The club, Cyber OU, gathered top security officials in the state of Michigan to share their thoughts on what colleges can do to protect their cyber infrastructure.

Michigan’s Chief Security Officer, Dan Lohrmann, kicked off the summit with a presentation on the current condition of cyber security in the government.  

He praised Michigan’s proactive approach to security and its involvement in cyber initiatives.

“Governor Snyder gets it,” Lohrmann said.  “He is pushing this nationwide among governors.”

Lohrmann also cited a UK study on higher education security, insisting a change in culture is a prime factor in recognizing the need to adapt better security practices. 

“We all have a role in this,” Lohrmann said.  “The students, faculty and administration all have a responsibility.”

Oakland Deputy County Executive Phil Bertolini was thrilled with the interest Oakland students have shown in cyber security. 

“One million jobs are expected to be created in this field by 2017,” he said.  “I can’t stress how important it is for Oakland University to take that seriously.”

“That’s what [Cyber OU] is doing, recognizing cyber security is going to be a big player moving forward.”

Following the presentations, the speakers were joined by Oakland University Chief Information Officer Theresa Rowe for an hour long panel discussion.

Given the recent tax fraud issue at OU, the first question presented to the panel and addressed by Rowe was whether or not there have any new developments in the matter. 

“We can’t find any evidence of a security breach or a theft or a lost laptop or anything like that,” she said.  “All I can do as a CIO is look at our security posture at OU and make sure we do what we can to protect our data.”

The case is currently under investigation by the IRS, FBI and Oakland University Police Department.

Rowe assured the audience that Oakland is not the only university to have dealt with these issues.  As the National Chair of the Research and Education Information Sharing and Analysis Center (REN-ISAC), she is active in promoting cyber security within the higher education community. 

Cyber OU Vice President Trpko Blazevski was more than satisfied with the turnout for the first summit.  With more than 120 registered guests, the conference was standing room only.

“We would love to make this an annual event here at OU,” he said.