A look at the third annual Cybersecurity Conference

By Anna Toth

The Center of Cybersecurity and Privacy Protection in the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law hosted it’s third annual Cybersecurity Conference on March 22 and 23.

This year, the event paired with Attorney General Mike DeWine’s CyberOhio Business Summit to host around 370 industry professionals from the technology, business, law and government fields.

“In past years, we had around 200 in attendance,” Brian E. Ray, co-founder of the Center for Cybersecurity and Privacy Protection and conference organizer, said.

Ray credits the increase in attendance to partnering with the CyberOhio Business Summit. The two events took place back to back across two days.

The Cybersecurity and Privacy Protection Conference hosted keynote speaker Mike Rogers on the first day.  

Rogers is a former member of congress in Michigan, where he chaired the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, which funded the 17 intelligence agencies in the US. He also works with the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress and the Bipartisan Policy Center on issues of cybersecurity in both government and technology industries.

Rogers’ involvement in the conference is an example of not only the success of the Cybersecurity Conference in Cleveland but the high-level audience that the conference is aimed toward. Ray explained that this wasn’t an academic student event, but students would still benefit from coming.

“Students will get exposed at a very high level to what’s going on in the field, in addition to networking and reception events,” Ray said.

Ray explained how planning the event takes a full year, starting almost as soon as that year’s conference is over. Six or seven staff members within the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law help organize the event by making topics, getting the online presence updated and organizing the 45 or so speakers.

“We also get help from outside professionals to informally advise and help out,” Ray said.

Planning for the fourth cybersecurity conference hasn’t started yet. But a driving force behind planning the conference every year is how unique the Cybersecurity and Protection Conference is in its field.

Unlike other conferences involving cybersecurity, the Cybersecurity and Protection Conference in the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law is one of the only conferences in the country that combines legal and regulatory issues with the cyber and technology aspects.

“Everything that happens with respect to cybersecurity has a legal and regulatory aspect to it,” Ray said.

As technology continues to advance and grow, so do the regulations that go behind it. As lawmakers try to regulate our use of internet and technology, they need to understand the full extent of it.

“You have to be able to understand and have a working knowledge of the working landscape,” Ray said. “That’s what my conference does, really.”

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