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SDWAC symposium examines cybersecurity


Brookings, S.D. (KELO AM) - Former Department of Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff recently told an audience of World Affairs Councils of America leaders that the Internet can no longer be trusted as a free and open source for information. It has become a tool for nefarious work by criminals seeking to do malicious harm."Cyber is the new threat given all the online navigation," Chertoff said. "History will find us, so we can't afford to be disengaged.

"The South Dakota World Affairs Council, a non-partisan, nonprofit, grassroots network dedicated to educating and engaging the public on critical global issues, plans to examine cybersecurity during its annual symposium Jan. 23-24 in the Volstorff Ballroom in the University Student Union at South Dakota State University. Michael McNerney, a cybersecurity, information technology and defense consultant to private sector and government agencies, will deliver the keynote address Jan. 23 at 7 p.m., in a Harding Lecture, "Cyberwar: How the Internet Changes World Conflict."

"Cybersecurity is a relatively new discipline of national security and can seem very complex," said McNerney, a former Pentagon official. "By discussing current threats, national policies and technology trends, I hope to lay a foundation for including more people in the discussion of this important issue."The topic continues Jan. 24 with McNerney opening and concluding the day's events.

After a brief recap of his Harding Lecture, panels take place with SDSU, Northern State University and Dakota State University students as well as various corporations and DSU faculty.The Jan. 24 schedule will be:

  • 9:30 a.m.—McNerney discusses how personal cybersecurity is affected and protected.
  • 10 a.m.—Students participate in a personal security panel, moderated by SDSU Associate Professor George Hamer.
  • 11:15 a.m.—Lunch break.
  • 1 p.m.—Daktronics, Fishback Financial Corporation and Data Theorem representatives describe threats to corporate cybersecurity in South Dakota as the state's businesses engage in the global economy.
  • 2 p.m.—Dakota State faculty members talk about their work with the National Security Administration to educate and train expert technicians in ways to maintain national cybersecurity from criminal threat.
  • 3 p.m.—McNerney will deliver summary remarks from the panels to conclude the day.

"The interplay between the public and private sectors, law and technology, and security and privacy raise complex issues for policymakers," McNerney said. "My goal is to explain cybersecurity policy in clear and concise terms." 

McNerney participated in drafting the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 and establishing the U.S. Defense Industrial Base Enhanced Cybersecurity Services Program. Trained as a lawyer, he also worked in the Department of Defense Office of General Counsel on Internet-related matters.

Parking is available in the paid lot east of the Student Union. E-mail sdworldaffairs@gmail.com or call 605-691-1018 for an access code.For more information on SDWAC, contact Jeanne Jones Manzer, executive director, at 605-688-5416 or sdworldaffairs@gmail.com. Information is also available at www.southdakotaworldaffairscouncil.org, facebook.com/SDWorldAffairsCouncil or @WorldAffairsSD.