RETR3AT Cybersecurity Conference 2016: Awareness, Assessment and Action

On October 21, some 250 business leaders and students from throughout the Southeast convened at Montreat College for its second annual RETR3AT cybersecurity conference.

Awareness, Assessment and Action

Speakers and panel members included representatives from Symantec, the National Security Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Bank of America, Biltmore, Mission Health, Counter Hack, VDA Labs and Tenable Network. The theme for this year’s conference was “Awareness, Assessment and Action.”

The program featured live cellphone and computer demonstrations to develop an understanding of cybersecurity’s importance in the workplace and in the private space. In an interview with Montreat College President Paul Maurer, Counter Hack’s founder and CEO, Ed Skoudis, said the elderly especially were vulnerable to encryption attacks, but also that identity theft at businesses still remains a major challenge.

Many Positions Remain Unfilled

Getting qualified people into these cybersecurity positions to combat the threat also is a considerable task. “There are estimates that hundreds of thousands of people are needed to fill jobs right now,” Skoudis said. He said the Department of Homeland Security still has about a quarter-million open positions.

About 65 high-school and college students attended the conference, representing 17 institutions from around the area and five neighboring states. It was sponsored by Mission Health. The RETR3AT 2016 interview with Skoudis is here: https://vimeo.com/189776147

Montreat College will host next year’s RETR3AT on October 27, 2017.