OCU hosts summit discussing protection from cyber attacks 

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In 2014, there were roughly 117,339 cyber attacks on businesses each day, totaling about $720,000 on average per incident for many companies.

It is a problem large enough to warrant a second summit at Oklahoma City University’s (OCU) School of Law. The State of Cyber is noon-5 p.m. Tuesday and coincides with the 21st anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing.

The summit addresses how businesses and government agencies can protect themselves against cyber attacks and features guest speakers from the U.S. Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security and the National Science Foundation. Panel discussions tackle topics such as the recent battle between the Department of Justice and Apple Inc. to unlock and access the iPhone data of one of the suspects in the December San Bernardino domestic terrorist attack.

Joe D. Whitley, who served in the Justice and Homeland Security departments under the George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan administrations, is among the panel of speakers.

“Cybersecurity is a concern for everyone, and we want information to remain private. If we have a conversation with someone, we want it to be between the two people having it,” Whitley said.

Many are familiar with the term “hacking,” or using technology to gain unauthorized access to system and network data. Whitley said monitoring and neutralizing the threat is a key component of privacy protection and cybersecurity.

Privacy is not limited to information sharing. Businesses such as hospitals and utility companies can have sensitive equipment compromised. The country’s infrastructure also is at stake.

“[The government’s job is to ensure that] dams, roads and bridges in America are protected because there’s a cyber connection to just about anything these days,” Whitley said.

To protect these businesses and the country, the Department of Homeland Security is collaborating with the private sector to facilitate rapid information sharing.

“About 85 percent of America’s infrastructure is in private hands,” Whitley said, “so what Homeland Security is doing is creating an emergency response team.”

The team would streamline information sharing between the department and various businesses to warn them of intrusions. For example, in the aftermath of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, the FBI worked with local police to find the suspects. The FBI traced identifying markers found on the explosives to Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, who were later convicted of their roles in the attack.

“Twenty-one years later, the FBI investigation might be very different because they’re looking at information coming from computer sources that is available now that might not have been available then,” Whitley said.

This sharing of resources would ensure that advanced evidence such as facial recognition and DNA is collected on time to capture the perpetrators.

After the summit, a reception will be held in OCU’s McLaughlin Hall. Visit oculawsummit2.eventbrite.com to register and for more information.

Print headline: Cyber summit, OCU’s School of Law hosts its second national summit on homeland security law.

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