NYS Celebrates 20th Annual Cyber Security Conference

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Conference Brings 1,100 Cyber Security Leaders to Albany to Learn About Latest Trends and Issues in Cyber Security to Better Equip Organizations with the Skills They Need to Combat Cyber Threats
Wednesday, June 7, 2017

New York State Chief Information Officer Robert H. Samson kicked off the New York State 20th Annual Cyber Security Conference in Albany, NY this morning.  A milestone event for New York, in its 20th year, the Conference is the premier cyber security education event in New York State.  This year's event, which takes place on June 7 and June 8 at the Empire State Plaza, brings together 1,100 cyber security professionals from state and local government, academia and the private sector to discuss emerging developments and latest trends in the industry, best practices designed to improve the security of our State and challenges to addressing cyber risks.

The annual Conference hosted by the New York State Office of Information Technology Services (ITS), in partnership with the University at Albany's School of Business, and the New York State Forum, Inc., aligns with Governor Cuomo's longstanding commitment to protect New Yorkers and businesses from cyber threats and improve New York's cyber security posture. In 2016, Governor Cuomo announced first-in-the-nation cyber security regulations to safeguard New York's financial industry and consumers by requiring banks, insurance companies and other financial services institutions to establish and maintain a cyber security program. In 2015, the Governor created the first-in-the-nation College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity at SUNY Albany to train the next generation of emergency managers and security professionals.   

To further advance strategies to stay ahead of the next generation of cyber threats, in 2013, Governor Cuomo appointed members to the State's first Cyber Security Advisory Board.  The Board consists of several of the country's foremost cyber security experts to advise the Governor on developments in cyber security and provide recommendations to protect the state's critical assets and information systems. 

"With the increasing number of cyber-attacks facing New Yorkers and threatening our critical operations, it is more important than ever that we come together to discuss ways in which we strengthen our cyber security," said New York State Chief Information Officer Robert H. Samson.  "Under the leadership of Governor Cuomo, New York is already well-positioned to address these cyber threats, and the 20th Annual New York State Cyber Security Conference allows us to come together to continue building on the progress we have made thus far. We all play a role in cyber security and this conference provides us with yet another opportunity to build awareness and to collaborate with our partners on developing innovative strategies to keep New York safe from cyber threats."

New York State Acting Chief Information Security Officer Deborah Snyder said, "With information sharing and the exponentially increasing use of the Internet, we all share in the responsibility to protect ourselves and our organizations from cyber attacks. Here in New York, we are working diligently to ensure New York's critical infrastructure and assets, as well as our citizens' privacy, are safeguarded. This conference is one of our cornerstone events and provides attendees from both state and local government, academia, and businesses the opportunity to obtain real world information to strengthen their organization's security."

Joan Sullivan, Executive Director of the NYS Forum, Inc., said, "Several events over this past year have made us all keenly aware of the impact that cyber terrorism has on our lives.  We can no longer be satisfied with the protections of the past.  It is incumbent upon all of us to understand the dangers and to equip ourselves with the knowledge to protect our personal information and the information that has been entrusted to us by our constituents.  On behalf of the NYS Forum, I am pleased to once again cohost this premiere event designed to provide conference participants with the most up-to-date information on how to protect our critical data.  By bringing together the most experienced subject matter experts in the field, representing industry, government and academia, participants are being provided with an opportunity to glean the knowledge necessary to protect their most important assets."

Dr. Sanjay Goel, School of Business at the University at Albany, said, "Keeping our networks and communication systems secure is a key national security and societal priority. While we continue to struggle to address the information security issues of the past, new technologies are emerging, such as, connected vehicles, smart grid, implantable medical devices, and human wearables that will rely on secure communication. To address the current and emerging information security challenges, we need forums like these where researchers and practitioners can come together to understand the future challenges and opportunities. University at Albany is pleased with its decade long collaboration with the New York State Office of Information Technology Services to offer this joint researcher and practitioner cyber security conference to educate and train professionals as well as set future directions of research."

New York State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II said, "Law enforcement is constantly challenged by innovations in online technologies that are exploited by criminals to steal from the public or gain access to sensitive information from companies, government agencies and other organizations. Through this conference, we can collaborate with both public and private partners, sharing information and strategies that help keep our teams in the best position to protect New Yorkers and meet new threats head-on."

Peter Bloniarz, Executive Director and Senior Policy Advisor, New York State Cyber Security Advisory Board said, "Today's interconnected world requires us to be more vigilant in preventing and responding to cyber threats. This conference provides an important opportunity for us to come together and share the innovative methods we can deploy to keep New York and its citizens safe. All who attend the conference should walk away armed with critical knowledge to help protect their organizations and themselves from cyber attacks, which will help fortify New York's cyber security environment."

The 2017 conference offers the opportunity for attendees to learn from some of today's foremost industry experts during keynote sessions, and interactive panel and roundtable discussions that provide real-world information and practical guidance to minimize cyber risks, address cyber challenges and create resiliency against cyber threats.

Reg Harnish, CEO for GreyCastle Security, delivered the opening keynote which focused on how the field of cyber security is relatively new and, as a result, each success we have in cyber security is significant and telling. Mr. Harnish laid out the issues of cyber security today and big ideas on safeguarding against security risks and dangers.  

In addition to his role as CEO of GreyCastle Security, Mr. Harnish is an entrepreneur, speaker and author. He has been practicing security for nearly two decades, specializing in security solutions for healthcare, higher education, critical infrastructure and other industries. Mr. Harnish's security expertise ranges from risk management and incident response to regulatory compliance and awareness.

Lior Tabansky, the Head of Cyber Projects Research and Development at Tel Aviv University's Blavatnik Interdisciplinary Cyber Research Center will deliver the opening keynote "Explaining Cyber Insecurity as Defense Adaptation" on Thursday, June 8.  Mr. Tabansky's 2017 doctoral dissertation "Explaining National Cyber Insecurity: A New Strategic Defense Adaptation Analytical Framework" explains why even the most developed nations remain so exposed to destructive cyberattacks on strategic homeland targets by foreign states.

Further, the conference features more than 50 breakout sessions covering topics ranging from risk management, mobile security, the threat landscape, the human element, policy and privacy, incident response and more. Training classes in security risk analysis and threat analysis are also offered as part of the conference.

Top researchers in academia will present papers on information security at the 12th Annual Symposium on Information Assurance (ASIA), which runs concurrent with the conference.

For more information on the 20th Annual New York State Cyber Security Conference, visit the conference website at www.its.ny.gov/eiso/conference/2017.   For highlights of the event, follow us on Twitter .



About ITS

The New York State Office of Information Technology Services (ITS) was created in 2012 to transform IT services in an effort to make New York State government work smarter for its citizens and enable the state to be accessible for businesses through the use of technology. ITS provides statewide IT strategic direction, directs IT policy and delivers centralized IT products and services that support the mission of the State. ITS operates data centers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to support statewide mission-critical applications for over 50 Agencies, over 17 million citizen accounts, 120,000 employee accounts, 60,000 phones, 99,000 desktops and laptops, and 3,433 Virtual Desktop remote connections. ITS operates a secure network of over 1,600 miles of fiber to deliver telecommunications, Internet and Intranet services, enterprise email systems and support, IT training, networking, data storage and processing to State government entities in addition to developing new services in support of citizens, businesses and State Agencies.

For more information, visit https://its.ny.gov and follow us on Twitter @nysits.