By Chamberlain Zulauf, Student Reporter
On Friday, June 3, the 3rd Responsive Technology Partners, specializing in IT services, held a summit at the Salem Civic Center with a variety of speakers within the world of cybersecurity. The event was the second in a series of six across RTP’s locations, which range from here in Virginia down to Florida. The purpose of the event was to educate business owners and leaders in the multifaceted world of cyber security.
“What we’re looking to do is educate about cyber security from different relatable angles. The speakers we have cover a broad spectrum within cyber security, ranging from business organization to policymaking. We have one speaker from novaSOC doing a deep dive on the anatomy of a cyber-attack. That’s one which would be a little ‘geeky,’ with a lot of jargon, but there is something for anyone to learn here,” said Tom Glover, the chief revenue officer and event organizer for RTP.
Truly, the event was accessible to anyone interested or concerned in the topic.
“I know very little about cyber security so being here I learned a lot about those risks, and for the most part I’ve been able to follow along.” Said Lilly Blair, an intern with Dominion Risk Advisors, one of the hosted companies.
The day started with a luncheon where people in different fields of business and security could mingle, exchange stories and make connections. The event, which lasted from 10:30 to 4:30, was also live streamed.
Kevin Adler, an attorney and speaker for Woods Rogers, had horror stories to tell. “I’ve worked with companies where management is meeting with IT for the first time only after an incident has occurred,” Adler said. “In one instance, a company I worked with had paid for a backup solution, but no one had ever plugged it in.”
Responsive Technology Partner’s best customers are the ones who are skeptical about everything. Glover expressed that he loves when RTP is forwarded suspicious emails by clients. This means his company is getting people to think with an appropriate mindset for this day and age.
“A main theme all our speakers have is preparedness. One of the big fallacies I hear is ‘we’re too small, we’re not a target.’ Even if your small business might not be a target, one of your vendors or customers could be. Cyber phishers don’t look for data that’s valuable to them, they look for data which is valuable to you. In this series of lectures, we hope to show the steps needed to secure your data and what to do next in the event of a breach,” said Glover.
“This is part of the fundamental challenge,” said Matt Lee, a self-proclaimed hacker, who was speaking for novaSOC.
“There’s so much focus on ‘protect’ but there’s more to it than that. The framework of any major security firm is something like identify, protect, detect, respond, and then even recover. Cyber security isn’t ‘hey, buy this product and you’ll be safe.’ That’s not how cyber security works; you can’t play football just because you bought pads. Seeing how your company can respond is more critical than even the actual incident,” said Lee.
The idea of communication and organization within a business and its employees at all levels is what this event preached. As expressed by the speakers, it’s a problem of ignorance and even negligence in some cases. Business owners don’t need to know how to code, they just need a relationship with their IT department.
Editor’s Note: As part of a new partnership between the Salem Times-Register and the Roanoke College Brackety-Ack, several student journalists will be reporting for our paper throughout the summer. Chamberlain Zulauf will be a December graduate from Roanoke College, staying a bit longer to run cross country one last time. With a double major in Creative Writing and Business he hopes to be writing wherever he goes.