Cyber Wars: High School Students Get Innovative

The gritty task of cracking complex codes and fending off hack attacks may not be official high school sports, but the competitive spirit was no less intense at California’s inaugural Cyber Innovation Challenge, held June 29 at Sacramento City College.

Eight of the state’s top high school students competed against each other in a make-shift “cyber wars,” an all-day event presented by the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) in partnership with:

  • the Cyber California network;
  • the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office;
  • and the California Workforce Development Board

“What a perfect opportunity to showcase our state’s best and brightest students by addressing the global cybersecurity skills gap,” said Cyber California chair Darin Andersen. “The need to know that our fast-growing industry welcomes their innovative young minds with open arms.”

Eight teams of high school students from Sacramento Valley, Los Angeles, San Diego and the Bay Area competed in a series of cyber security challenges.

GO-Biz is the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, which serves as California’s lead entity for economic development and job creation efforts.

CyberCalifornia is a coalition of businesses, state agencies, and educational partners dedicated to reinforcing California’s leadership position in cybersecurity.

Believe It or Not, Chinese-based Cyberattacks Have Decreased

Though no exact figures were released, a new report claims that last year’s almost daily cyber raids on Silicon Valley firms, U.S. military contractors, and major commercial targets by Chinese state-sponsored hackers have been significantly curtailed so far this year.

The assumed reason: Chinese president Xi Jinping has brought the Chinese military – thought to be the main sponsor of that Communist nation’s cyber global attacks – even more under his control. In a similar crackdown, Xi has acted to suppress Chinese media, bloggers and others who challenge the Communist Party online.

The study was conducted by FireEye, a U.S. company that manages large network breaches, as reported June 20 by The New York Times.

The most cogent Times excerpt: “It’s a mixed bag,” said Kevin Mandia, the founder of Mandiant, now part of FireEye, which first detailed the activities of a People’s Liberation Army cyber-arm, called Unit 61398, that had been responsible for some of the most highly publicized thefts of American technology. “We still see semiconductor companies and aerospace firms attacked.”

Today, said the report, Unit 61398 appears to be largely out of business. Its state-sponsored hackers have been dispersed to other military, private and intelligence units.

As a result, the Chinese-based hackers have recently moved their focus from the U.S. to more vulnerable targets in Russia, South Korea and Vietnam.

Another factor: The bi-national agreement reached nearly a year ago by President Obama and Mr. Xi that covered a wide range of intellectual property theft by Chinese agents.

Amid the good news, there’s still plenty of bad: The FireEye report concludes that while Chinese attacks on U.S. targets have decreased in volume, they have increased in sophistication.

The conclusion: Chinese hackers are now more like Russian-based hackers. They pick their targets more carefully, and cover their tracks more effectively.

“We see a threat that is less voluminous but more focused, calculated, and still successful in compromising corporate networks,” the report said.

Let’s be careful out there.

 

By Darin Andersen

CyberTECH Founder to Participate in “Real Disruption” Session at the SIOR 2016 Spring World Conference

On Thursday, April 14, CyberTECH Founder Darin Andersen will participate in a panel discussion about the sharing economy at the SIOR national meeting in San Diego. As we continue to grow the CyberTECH Co-working community, we are excited to join the discussion on how spaces such as NEST, CyberHive, xHive, iHive are great examples of new, innovative real estate product types that are changing commercial real estate generally and brokerage specifically.

Education Session: Real Disruption – The Sharing Economy and Commercial Real Estate (CE)

Moderator: Steve Weikal, MIT Center for Real Estate

Panelists:
Darin Andersen, CyberTECH
Matt Glade, Flexe
David Mandell, PivotDesk

We’re all familiar with (or have used) popular sharing services such as Zipcar, Airbnb and Uber. Now, this “sharing” model is coming to commercial real estate in a variety of forms. In this session, Steve discusses the new technology applications that use this approach to unlock value in real estate by increasing utilization rates, optimizing occupancy and decreasing market friction. This lively discussion with three industry innovators will provide a better understanding of how the sharing economy is poised to dramatically alter the office and industrial markets, and what it may mean for your business.

For the complete conference schedule click here.

For more information and to register click here.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer to Officially Open NEST, San Diego’s Largest Co-working Tech Startup Space

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Mayor Kevin Faulconer will preside over a ribbon-cutting ceremony to commemorate the official opening of NEST, downtown San Diego’s largest co-working space for tech startups, on Wednesday, April 6 at 10:45 am.

The NEST ceremony will be held at 1855 First Avenue, 2nd Floor of the Manpower building, located in Bankers Hill adjacent to downtown. Covering more than 16,000 square feet, the newly-opened space reflects San Diego’s fast-growing leadership role in the hi-tech and cybersecurity sectors.

 

Along with Mayor Faulconer, more than 100 elected officials, business, civic and tech leaders are expected to attend including event MC Reo Carr, Executive Editor, San Diego Business JournalSherri S. Lightner, San Diego City Council President District 1; Shelley Zimmerman, Chief of Police, City of San Diego; Erik Caldwell, Director of Economic Development, City of San Diego; Phil Blair, Executive Officer, Manpower San Diego; and Greg McKee, CEO, CONNECT.

In addition to saluting the new tech space, Mayor Faulconer is expected to announce San Diego’s role as an innovator within the new “Smart and Safe Cities” campaign, part of the recently launched state-wide initiative, CyberCalifornia.

NEST Ribbon-cutting Ceremony with Mayor Faulconer
Wednesday, April 6, 10:30-11:30 am
Manpower, 1855 First Avenue, 2nd Floor, San Diego, CA 92101

Funding for NEST derives from a $40,000 City of San Diego grant, part of the city’s Regional Economic Development Corporation Transient Occupancy Tax funding program. Under the guidance of San Diego-based cybersecurity executive Darin Andersen, NEST is supported by resident and non-resident membership fees, plus sponsor partners and grants. The space is fully leased with 42 resident members. That total is expected to grow to 80 companies by mid-2017. For every resident member, NEST also supports an additional four non-resident members through its Community Social Incubation Model.

“We’re grateful that Mayor Faulconer and his staff fully recognize that our newest co-working venture will serve to further accelerate the region’s startup sector, with its growing emphasis on downtown,” said Andersen, chairman of CyberCalifornia, a non-profit security alliance of industry, government and academic leaders. “We’re equally grateful for the generous support and vision of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation.”

Additional tech-themed working spaces within the Manpower building include: CyberHive, iHive, and xHive, featuring an array of incubators, shared workspaces, temporary workspaces and co-working spaces.

To RSVP for the ceremony please click here.

For more information about NEST please click here.

Launch of CyberCalifornia to be Announced at RSA Conference

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Non-profit Initiative to Promote State as Epicenter of Commercial Cybersecurity

More than ever, California stands at the forefront of new technologies based on the Internet of Things (IoT), the phenomenon of people and things (devices) connected to the Internet and communicating vast amounts of valuable data.

Yet we are also increasingly vulnerable, a fact underscored by breaches of corporations and government agencies that have impacted millions across the nation. Reports of cybercrime, data breaches, theft of proprietary information, hacking and malware incidents have become alarmingly frequent.

Toward that end, a state-wide alliance of cybersecurity leaders, companies, educators and elected officials – CyberCalifornia – has been formed. The non-profit coalition will work closely with select representatives from government, industry and academia to accelerate the state’s standing as the industry’s epicenter of commercial cybersecurity.

The announcement will be made March 1, 2016 at CyberTECH’s Cyber+IoT Bangers & Mash eWEEK Roundtable Breakfast as part of the RSA Conference 2016, the annual global cybersecurity conference, San Francisco’s Moscone Center, Feb. 29-March 4.

RSA Conference 2016: “Bangers and Mash” eWEEK Roundtable Breakfast
The Chieftain Irish Pub, 198 Fifth Street, San Francisco
Tuesday, March 1, 2016, 7:30 am to 9:30 am

The connection between cybersecurity and overall economic vitality is especially robust in California, given the state’s leadership position in so many advanced sectors. These sectors are highly dependent on technical cybersecurity solutions, skilled cybersecurity professionals, and collaborative processes in cybersecurity.

Indeed, companies that lack these cybersecurity assets risk losing sensitive company and customer data, putting them on a perilous path. By contrast, businesses that proactively incorporate cybersecurity into their research, product design, and workforce development plans can gain competitive advantages.

Given the inextricable link between cybersecurity and overall economic vitality, it is crucial that businesses, universities, and other collaborative assets throughout California work together to enhance the security of the state’s digital infrastructure.

“In today’s digital age, trust is imperative,” said Ryan Gillis, Vice President, Cybersecurity Strategy and Global Policy at Palo Alto Networks. “We believe that with industry, government and education leaders working together to improve defenses against advanced cyber adversaries, we can affect positive change to build back the trust in our digital infrastructure.”

Added Craig Harper, ‎Chief Technology Officer at Sysorex: “Those of us with leading roles in cyber security fully realize that we’re faced with the urgency of now.”

Spreading that compelling message – along with providing critical informational strategies and tools – is the goal of CyberCalifornia.

The mission:

CyberCalifornia will advance the goals and promote the accomplishments of the State of California’s Cybersecurity Task Force, with a particular emphasis on the connections between cybersecurity and economic development.

CyberCalifornia will help organize public-private partnerships in cybersecurity, with the goals of facilitating research and innovation in cybersecurity, educating

California businesses about cybersecurity needs and resources, and connecting the state’s robust workforce development system with employers and their needs.

CyberCalifornia will collaborate with the Innovation Hub (iHub) Network, a program administered by the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. The iHubs provide innovation platforms for startup companies, economic development organizations, business groups, and venture capitalists by leveraging such assets as research parks, technology incubators, universities, and federal laboratories.

The action plan:

Create a standing Board of Advisors to work with the California Cybersecurity Task Force, with a particular emphasis on the Economic Development Subcommittee.

Assist in organizing private sectors by vertical industry such as banking and finance, high technology, agricultural technology, and others. These advisory groups will encourage sector-specific cybersecurity innovation in their respective domains, in partnership with the statewide Innovation Hub (iHub) network. These groups will also publicize exemplary cybersecurity practices for industry members.

Assist in development and promotion of cybersecurity career pathways, in close partnership with the Workforce Development and Education Subcommittee and the Economic Development Subcommittee of the California Cybersecurity Task Force.

Partner with local and regional economic development organizations, including the Innovation Hubs (iHubs), economic development organizations, small business development centers, workforce investment boards, and other strategic partners, to inform California’s business community about cybersecurity needs and solutions.

Establish connections between the Cybersecurity sector and the Internet of Things sector, through such activities as conferences and media events.

About CyberCalifornia:

A non-profit coalition based in San Diego, CA, CyberCalifornia organizes public-private partnerships in cybersecurity, with the goal of facilitating research and innovation in cybersecurity, educating California businesses about cybersecurity needs and resources, and connecting California’s robust workforce development system with the needs of California employers.

About RSA Conference 2016:

Launched in 1991, RSA Conference drives the information security agenda worldwide with annual industry events in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Throughout its history, RSA Conference has consistently attracted the world’s best and brightest in the field, creating opportunities for conference attendees to learn about IT security’s most important issues.

About CyberTECH:

San Diego-based CyberTECH is a global cybersecurity and Internet of Things (IoT) network alliance providing cybersecurity and IoT resources, strategic programs and thought-leadership events. Membership includes business and financial leaders, academic and research institutions, government and non-profit organizations.

Contact:

Darin Andersen
CEO/Founder, CyberTECH
619-341-4086
darin@cyberhivesandiego.org

 

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a CyberTECH Initiative

Evolution of the CyberTECH Newsletter

Since August 2014, the CyberTECH Newsletter has been a great source for our members, partners, sponsors, industry experts and all other CyberTECH supporters to stay up-to-date with the latest news, trends, events and more.

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Elements of the newsletter

With the many activities and rapid growth of the CyberTECH Community, the newsletter has provided the opportunity to highlight key announcements such as office space expansions, new advisory board members, community members, industry news and trends, events, and more.

While the look and feel along with the format has changed over time, many of the key elements of the newsletter remain the same.

Header Image

This is typically the first part of the newsletter that people see. The image often aligns with the theme of the newsletter which is discussed in more detail in the introduction section. For example, the February 2016 newsletter is primarily focused on the upcoming RSA Conference hence the CyberTECH Securing the Internet of Things (SIOT) Masters event image that can be found in various places including the SIOT webpage and the event registration page.

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Introduction Section

This is the first text section of the newsletter. The introduction section is where the newsletter theme comes to life. It includes background or supporting information, why the topic matters, and how it relates to relevant CyberTECH activities or initiatives being discussed or announced. Examples of past newsletter themes include San Diego Startup Week, the Good Neighbor Event, the launch of CyberCalifornia, or the office expansion and launch of xHive co-working space.

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Industry News

The emerging technology, cybersecurity and IoT industries are constantly changing. Through information sharing and leveraging the brilliant minds of the community, we constantly strive to be a trusted resource for the latest news and trends. Some examples of industry professionals who contribute to the newsletter include Alan Watkins, Neal Leavitt, Charles “Chuck” Brooks, Jerry Gitchel, Gary Hayslip, Cleve Adams, Darin Andersen, Fer O’Neil, Chuck Benson, Don Larson, Bill Bonney, and more.

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Featured Members

The CyberTECH Members are the engine of the community. With over 50 “resident members” working from the office spaces and over 50 “non-resident members”, the CyberTECH membership includes a diverse blend of public and private entities with interests and operations across the nation. As a CyberTECH member, individuals and organizations have access to CyberTECH Incubators and Co-Working Spaces (CyberHive, iHive, xHive and nest), business development services and programs, and a distinguished network of professionals focused on fostering innovation and economic development.

The newsletter has been a great way to spotlight members, share member news and encourage other organizations to get involved.

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Upcoming Events

Having produced approximately 200 local and national events over the last 3 and a half years, the newsletter is a popular way to keep the community in the loop with previous and upcoming events.

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Sponsors

The CyberTECH sponsors are a critical part of the overall success of CyberTECH. As a non-profit organization, our success and ability to be a sustainable organization, helping to advance the adoption of cyber and emerging technologies, depends on the support and contributions of our sponsors and partners. The newsletter is an ideal platform to promote and show our appreciation for our supporters.

In additional to the dozens of organizations and individuals who have contributed to the CyberTECH Community, there are a handful of organizations who have stepped up to sponsor the monthly newsletter. These companies include Webpass, Manpower, CyberUnited and CyberCalifornia.

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So what’s new?

While there are not currently plans to alter the main elements of the newsletter (if anything, add!), we have decided to make adjustments to the overall layout and amount of information that is included in the newsletter.

At the top of the newsletter, you will notice that a table of contents section has been added. You will also see that the bulk of the news and information now lives on our blog. There are more images too!

Because we do have a great amount of information to share, we are leveraging the CyberTECH blog. We believe this will give supporters the opportunity to refer back to information, news, updates, etc. while also being able to easily scan the topics and news.

These changes have been inspired by generous feedback provided by the community, advisors and members.

We are excited about the new direction and welcome any additional feedback, suggestions, etc. If you have any thoughts, please contact us here.

We appreciate your feedback and continued support!

CyberTECH Intern Shares Experience and Future Plans

Tomorrow’s technology, today.

The future of technology innovation lies in the hands of our youth. Through internships, CyberTECH supports STEM education by encouraging our youth to explore science, technology, engineering and math related to cybersecurity and Internet of Things. CyberTECH interns are provided with the opportunity to make a real impact while developing technology, business, marketing and operational skills in a stimulating and innovative environment.

One of the first CyberTECH Interns was Jah’neice Mitchell, a student at e3 Civic High School. Jah’neice joined CyberTECH as a Sophomore and has been an important part of the CyberTECH organization. From planning, organizing and promoting events to managing the day-to-day operations, we are fortunate to have Jah’neice part of the CyberTECH team and community.

To get a better understanding of her experience at CyberTECH and the organization has and will continue to prepare for her next adventures, we asked Jah’neice to share her story.

How your time as a CyberTECH intern prepared you for college? Other jobs?

“CyberTECH has prepared me in multiple ways. For example, the meaningful relationships I’ve been able to develop with others. I’ve met so many people who have made a significant impact on me as a person and on my outlook on life. I’ve built relationships with professors, experts, retired and active military, and many other types of professionals.

I have also learned a lot about time management. Not only with managing school and the internship, but also with events and all of the preparation that’s required. The experience has taught me how to better manage my time – I know this will benefit me in college as well.”

How do you think your experience as a CyberTECH intern will prepare you post graduation?

“Working at CyberTECH, I had the chance to learn about marketing systems and tools that I didn’t know much about. For example, the CRM system. I have also become familiar and comfortable working in programs such as excel. 

Working at many of the events I also learned how to better organize, prepare, and execute events. From 10 person to 100+ people, I gained a great amount of experience that I’ll be able to apply going forward. 

One of my dreams is to eventually own my own business. Having worked with so many entrepreneurs and within the local startup community, I learned some of the fundamentals about starting a business.”

What was the most important lesson you learned as a CyberTECH intern?

“One of the biggest lessons I learned during my time at CyberTECH was to think things out on your own. Its okay to ask for help but its important to try and do things by yourself especially when it requires little assistance.”

How would you describe your overall experience as a CyberTECH Intern?

“Tremendous. I’ve met some exceptional people and it opened my eyes to a whole new world. It also helped to develop my confidence.”

 

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What advice can you give to other high school interns who are interested in working with CyberTECH?

“Don’t be shy and make connections – you really are surrounded by hard working people and successful people. If you have questions – ask – make as many connections as possible. Familiarize yourself with your surrounding – it’s good to know where things are.”

What are your plans post high school graduation?

” After graduation, I plan to attend a 4 year university and major in Chemistry or Chemical Engineering that way I can become a pharmaceutical toxicologist for the FDA or an engineer.

I have applied to over 20 schools and been accepted to 14 colleges thus far. I have also been offered academic scholarships from 4 of the schools I’ve been accepted to.

In March, I will find out if I received the Gates Millennium Scholarship.” 

Driven by her desire to learn, grow and make a positive impact, Jah’neice Mitchell has always demonstrated a high degree of integrity and potential to be a leader in every task and project assigned to her. We are excited for Jah’neice to start her next chapter and know she will continue to make a positive impact not only our community but any organization or project on the horizon.

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CyberTECH Kicks Off CyberCalifornia Initiative at National Data Privacy Day Securing the Internet of Things Masters Event

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On January 28, 2016, CyberTECH, a leading cybersecurity and IoT network, the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, and the nation’s most distinguished privacy think tank research institution, the Ponemon Institute, hosted the “Securing the Internet of Things: Data Privacy Day 2016” event in Sacramento, California. This event addressed these privacy concerns and provided a clearer understanding of the perceptions and potential threats that will affect the collection, management and safeguarding of private information about individuals and organizations.

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It was during the morning session at the California Governor Brown’s Office that Director of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (calOES), Mark Ghilarducci and State of California CISO, Michele Robinson joined CyberTECH Co-Founder, Darin Andersen and other members of the Governor’s Office and Cybersecurity Task Force including Louis Stewart and Oliver Rosenbloom to announce a new California Initiative, CyberCalifornia, to promote the state as the epicenter of commercial cybersecurity.

With over 60 attendees and participants present, the group was among the first to learn how the CyberCalifornia Initiative will help further position California as a leader in cybersecurity as it relates to commerce and the Internet of Things (IoT) technology.

The mission:

CyberCalifornia will advance the goals and promote the accomplishments of the State of California’s Cybersecurity Task Force, with a particular emphasis on the connections between cybersecurity and economic development.

CyberCalifornia will help organize public-private partnerships in cybersecurity, with the goals of facilitating research and innovation in cybersecurity, educating California businesses about cybersecurity needs and resources, and connecting the state’s robust workforce development system with employers and their needs.

CyberCalifornia will collaborate with the Innovation Hub (iHub) Network, a program administered by the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. The iHubs provide innovation platforms for startup companies, economic development organizations, business groups, and venture capitalists by leveraging such assets as research parks, technology incubators, universities, and federal laboratories.

The action plan:

Create a standing Board of Advisors to work with the California Cybersecurity Task Force, with a particular emphasis on the Economic Development Subcommittee.

Assist in organizing private sectors by vertical industry such as banking and finance, high technology, agricultural technology, and others. These advisory groups will encourage sector-specific cybersecurity innovation in their respective domains, in partnership with the statewide Innovation Hub (iHub) network. These groups will also publicize exemplary cybersecurity practices for industry members.

Assist in development and promotion of cybersecurity career pathways, in close partnership with the Workforce Development and Education Subcommittee and the Economic Development Subcommittee of the California Cybersecurity Task Force.

Partner with local and regional economic development organizations, including the Innovation Hubs (iHubs), economic development organizations, small business development centers, workforce investment boards, and other strategic partners, to inform California’s business community about cybersecurity needs and solutions.

Establish connections between the Cybersecurity sector and the Internet of Things sector, through such activities as conferences and media events.

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Following the announcement, eWEEK Editor, Chris Preimesberger led the interactive Cyber + IoT Bangers & Mash eWEEK Roundtable discussion. The second half of the Masters event took place at the Leland Stanford Mansion where security and privacy professionals participated in a panel on Government and Academic Initiatives related to IoT security and privacy and a panel on security, privacy and trust in IoT platforms. The day concluded with a group exercise on securing the IoT supply chain for connected devices.

An international effort to empower and educate people and organizations to protect their privacy and control their digital footprint, Data Privacy Day also raises awareness about existing cybersecurity partnerships in California and help to facilitate further collaboration amongst key cybersecurity stakeholders in the Golden State. Given the inextricable link between cybersecurity and overall economic vitality, it is crucial that businesses, universities, and other collaborative assets throughout California work together to enhance the security of California’s digital infrastructure.

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For additional information or to participate in the CyberCalifornia Initiative, please visit the CyberCalifornia website.

 

CyberCalifornia: The Epicenter for Commercial Cybersecurity

Acknowledging the truths about cybersecurity, protecting critical infrastructure, addressing the importance of information sharing and collaboration, and developing the cyber workforce are just a few examples of the many initiatives top of mind for California’s cyber leaders. 

In a recent United States Cybersecurity Magazine article, “California Gold: Cybersecurity’s Emerging Epicenter”, members from the California Governor’s Cybersecurity Task Force and CyberCalifornia’s Advisory Board discussed current efforts that support the Golden State’s position as a beacon of leadership in cybersecurity. 

As the most populous state in the country, and home to hundreds of startups, emerging automation technologies and ever expanding critical infrastructure, California is an example where the universal need for cybersecurity takes on interesting new connotations and challenges. Many of the State’s disruptive companies are focused on the Internet of Things (IoT), leveraging the Internet to boost speed, convenience, and productivity. 

“A lot of traditional industries…have never been faced with the need to create secure devices, because their products haven’t been connected to the internet and therefore they’ve never worried about those devices being hacked,” said Darin Andersen, founder of global cybersecurity and IoT community, CyberTECH, cybersecurity consulting firm, CyberUnited, and the CyberCalifornia initiative. “It’s one thing if you get a blue screen on your computer; it’s another thing if a bad guy can maneuver your car off the road into a ditch, or hack a pacemaker.” 

As for solutions, information sharing was high on the list for the cyber experts suggesting that the best way to prevent future compromises is to provide organizations with fast, advanced, and secure frameworks to facilitate the exchange of information. 

The development of this type of exchange is the focus of the Information Sharing Subcommittee of the Task Force, “working diligently to promote cyber hygiene and situational awareness by streamlining the exchange of cybersecurity information,” said Justin Cain, Cybersecurity Coordinator for the Task Force. 

Gary Hayslip, CISO for the City of San Diego, CyberTECH Co-Chair, and member of both the Task Force and CyberCalifornia stressed that “cybersecurity is a team sport. You can either collaborate with your peers to better defend your organization or get eaten.” 

Plans for protecting the present and securing the future were discussed by several other Task Force and CyberCalifornia members including Alberto Yepez, Managing Director at Trident Capital, Oliver Rosenbloom, Co-Chair for the Cyber Task Force’s Economic Development Subcommittee, William Britton, Director of California Polytechnic University at San Luis Obispo’s Cybersecurity Center (CalPoly), and Bob Ackerman of Alleges Capital.