SDN Blog

NIST Cybersecurity seminar is a big opportunity for businesses

Posted on Monday, April 04, 2016 in Cybersecurity

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NIST Cyber Framework Training

Some industries used to shoulder more risk than others as potential victims of cyberattacks. That’s no longer the case. Because of the linked nature of commercial enterprises today, nearly all businesses and organizations must be aware of cyber threats and protect themselves.

“There used to be industries that could kind of ignore it. If you look at the attacks now, they’re hitting virtually every industry.” says Josh Pauli, who teacher cyber security courses at Dakota State University. “We’re all interconnected now.”

Pauli will talk about the state of cyberattacks and security practices as one of the leadoff speakers at a major training seminar for businesses May 3-4 at the Holiday Inn City Centre in Sioux Falls.

The seminar is a big opportunity for businesses in the Upper Midwest and beyond to learn about a new federal framework for improving the security of the nation’s critical infrastructure. The guidelines were developed under the leadership of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, more commonly known as NIST. NIST is a non-regulatory agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce.

In response to President Obama’s executive order issued in 2013, NIST led the development of up-to-date standards, guidelines and practices designed to help businesses improve their cybersecurity risk management.

Cyberattacks are a large, growing and constantly evolving threat to businesses of any size. Successful strikes can devastate a company’s bottom line and long-term reputation. Attacks to critical infrastructure also threaten the well-being of the United States.

The NIST Cyber Framework incorporates suggestions from industry, government and academia to create a protection process for industries such as financial services, electric utilities and telecommunications to follow.

Telecom executives, risk managers, legal advisers, and IT leaders are among the business people invited to attend the NIST Cybersecurity Framework Training in Sioux Falls. Industries with infrastructure deemed critical to national security also include energy, emergency services, food, health care, transportation, water, and several others.

One of the goals of the NIST framework was to get away from check-the-box type of lists, which can get stale, said Carrie Johnson, manager of government and external relations at SDN Communications. The goal of the NIST framework was to define a process to help organizations work through their unique circumstances. The framework provides information designed to help organizations determine their current cybersecurity capabilities and establish a plan for improvement.

“It’s very flexible and scalable. It allows organizations to address and mitigate their own unique risks,” Johnson said.

Sioux Falls-based SDN, the premier regional provider of broadband connectivity and telecommunications services for businesses, is one of the hosts of the seminar. The South Dakota Telecommunications Association and Madison-based DSU also are hosts.

“Our goal is that attendees become equipped with the knowledge, tools, and confidence to return to their organizations and hit the ground running in using the framework,” Johnson said.

The seminar will help participants identify which business elements and who in their organization should be included in the process of improving cybersecurity, and how to get it done.

“This is a unique opportunity. It will provide in-depth, hands-on training,” Johnson said.

Mark Shlanta, CEO of SDN, has testified to Congress about the need for more government outreach for small businesses in rural areas, and NIST has been responsive in working with conference organizers.

The preliminary schedule includes experts from NIST and officials from several other regional and national businesses and organizations with cybersecurity knowledge and experience.

The cost of the seminar is $100. Specially discounted rooms are available at the Holiday Inn City Centre until April 12.

Take a look at the agenda and register using the button below.

Register for the NIST Cyber Training