Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

From hacked elections to stolen personal finance or health data, businesses, nonprofits and governmental agencies face an increasing array of cybersecurity threats while they’re dealing with a shortage of workers that can help thwart such attacks.

The Technology Association of Louisville Kentucky will discuss those and other matters at its Cybersecurity Summit starting at 8:30 a.m. Thursday at Sullivan University’s College of Technology & Design, 3901 Atkinson Square Drive.

The association’s CEO Dawn Marie Yankeelov told Insider Louisville that the summit will bring together people from private, nonprofit and public sectors to share their concerns and their solutions for how to deal with actual and potential cyber threats by assessing vulnerabilities and figuring out how to protect themselves.

“The general public may have become numb to the impact of cybersecurity,” she said, but it “remains a huge concern.”

Businesses are losing critical consumer data and proprietary information, and attacks are costing the public and private sectors billions of dollars, she said.

“The attacks are going up,” Yankeelov said, adding that the downside for small businesses is enormous.

Dawn Marie Yankeelov

Sixty percent of small businesses close six months after a cyberattack, according to Louisville-based IT solutions company CloudNexus.

Small businesses remain especially vulnerable, Yankeelov said, because their owners often think that hackers target only big corporations. However, hackers know that they face less resistance from small businesses.

While businesses, nonprofits and government agencies face an increasing number of threats, Yankeelov said, they’re struggling to find enough workers who can help thwart attacks. The Center for Cyber Safety and Education projects a 1.8 million-person global shortage of cybersecurity professionals by 2022.

The summit will feature speakers including Klint Walker, a cybersecurity adviser for private and public sectors, including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; and Phil Bond, a former undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce and former deputy chair of the World Information Technology and Services Alliance.

The event also will include a panel discussion on data protection regulations, a session on how to respond to a security breach and a 4:30 p.m cocktail hour. Tickets for the summit cost $45 and include appetizers at the cocktail hour and lunch.

Together with Bond, Yankeelov will announce that the Technology Association of Louisville Kentucky has become Kentucky’s CyberUSA affiliate, which means its members can participate in a national threat-sharing program to prepare for and thwart cyberattacks happening elsewhere. Association membership costs at least $300 per year.

Boris Ladwig is a reporter with more than 20 years of experience and has won awards from multiple journalism organizations in Indiana and Kentucky for feature series, news, First Amendment/community affairs, nondeadline news, criminal justice, business and investigative reporting. As part of The (Columbus, Indiana) Republic’s staff, he also won the Kent Cooper award, the top honor given by the Associated Press Managing Editors for the best overall news writing in the state. A graduate of Indiana State University, he is a soccer aficionado (Borussia Dortmund and 1. FC Köln), singer and travel enthusiast who has visited countries on five continents. He speaks fluent German, rudimentary French and bits of Spanish, Italian, Khmer and Mandarin.


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