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Cybersecurity symposium will go beyond passwords and hacks


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Dr. Alan Shark

Executive Director/CEO Public Technology Institute and Associate Professor, George Mason University Schar School of Policy and Government

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These questions will break down cybersecurity's complex topics to their essentials

In five successive years of surveying technology managers’ biggest challenges, the topic of cybersecurity has consistently been rated as their number one concern. 

Those of us who work in the technology management field know that cybersecurity has many subcategories  — each having their own set of threats and remedies. So, digging beneath the overall category of cybersecurity we find no less than nine topics.

To help frame the issues we have added a list of questions aimed at helping the reader better understand what is behind each topic, they are: 

1. Why Cybersecurity Must be the Number 1 Concern for County Government. So what Must Counties Do?

Getting senior management on board, how and why.

Assessing your county’s risk factor, how does this work?

Recruiting and Retaining the “right” people.


2. Cyber Awareness Programs: More than a Once a Year Event

What does a good program look like?

What are the elements of an effective program?

How can you develop a program on a small budget?

Where can you turn for outside help?


3. Ransomware: To Pay or Not to Pay? (Hint: Don’t!)

How can you prevent Ransomware in the first place?

What are the best steps in avoiding having to pay?

What risks do we assume if we pay?


4. Midterm Elections — How Can We Better Protect the Process?

What resources are available to counties to help mitigate election risk?

What are the most commonly found weaknesses?

Are their grants we can take advantage of to help our county out?


5. Cyber Insurance: Risks and Rewards

Why cyber insurance may be the county’s best friend.

What should cyber insurance cover?

What should you look for when shopping for a policy?

Are state-sponsored plans worth looking at?


6. Mobile Device Management and Encryption

Examples of policies that work.

How do we balance the needs for mobility and security?


7. Trusted Identities in Cyberspace: Why This is Critical?

Why are trusted identities policies and procedures vital to a digital agenda?

When will trusted identity policies and services become a reality?

How might trusted identities change current business practices?


8. Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain — Risks and Rewards

What are the differences between Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies?

Should local governments be accepting Cryptocurrencies?

How can Blockchain technology provide far greater security?

How is Blockchain being used today?


9. Cloud Security — Promises Kept?

What do you need to know about cloud contract security?

Can you actually change the terms of services as outlines in a contract?

Does the federal government’s FedRamp impact county government?

What recourse do you have in case there is a breach in the Cloud?

What is a cloud vendor really responsible for?

To help county leaders and technology managers better navigate cybersecurity, PTI along with NACo is holding a special one-day “National Symposium on Cybersecurity for Local Government” May 23 at NACo’s first floor conference center.

All NACo participants receive a $100 discount on their registration. Seating is limited.

To learn more and to register, go to


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