TechBirmingham will host its seventh annual CyberNow Summit on May 11-13. After two years as a virtual event due to the pandemic, the cybersecurity conference will take place both in person at the Red Mountain Theater Arts Campus and, for those who prefer to attend virtually, at cybernowsummit.com.
“While the virtual conferences of the last two years came out of necessity, they were very well-received,” said TechBirmingham President and CEO Deon Gordon. “Last year, we had more than 700 people attend, a response that just blew us away. You can’t replace an in-person experience, so we’re looking forward to getting back to that. But the cybersecurity community embraces virtual experiences and our success in that arena speaks well of the partnerships we’ve been able to build.”
One of those is InfraGard, a cybersecurity partnership between the private sector and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. InfraGard promotes and enables the sharing of information and intelligence to prevent hostile cyber acts against communities and their critical infrastructure. The InfraGard Birmingham Members Alliance is joining TechBirmingham in hosting this year’s CyberNow Summit.
“Cybersecurity is more relevant than ever,” Gordon said. “Not just because of the increasing sophistication and evolution of capabilities, but also the ramifications of increasing Russian aggression, bad actors in China, and what that means to us and the rest of the world.”
CyberNow’s keynote and general speaker sessions will highlight digital transformation in the post-pandemic world, while providing case studies in cyberthreats in the Birmingham region. Keynote speakers include:
- Donna Gregory, FBI unit chief for the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), who will discuss the FBI’s role in cybercrime data collection, analysis and trend identification in its efforts to control, reduce, mitigate and prevent cybercrime.
- Rob Ferrill, chief information officer at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, who will revisit UAB’s experience with a cyberthreat in 2020.
- Dondi West, Information Security counsel at TikTok, who will talk about new cyberthreats, geopolitical risks and legal challenges associated with the rise of Web 3 and the Metaverse.
The program will include a panel discussion on “The Post-Covid Workforce in Technology.” In addition, the summit will feature an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Immersion Day, with training opportunities for beginners and advanced professionals. Workshops will include presentations and hands-on labs, with collaborative and interactive learning exercises that educate through real-life scenarios.
According to Gordon, the timing and subject matter of this year’s CyberNow Summit comes at a critical and opportune time for Birmingham. Cybersecurity continues to increase in importance at a time when innovation – and the need to promote best practices – is only beginning to peak in Birmingham and across Alabama.
“We used to talk about tech as a separate industry,” Gordon said. “Now, it’s being viewed more horizontally. It impacts everything. Health, finance, universities, state and local governments, construction of smart homes and buildings – in all these areas, the conversation is about increasing efficiency and safety, which involves cybersecurity.
“This stuff has real-world implications. It’s important that we continue positioning Birmingham on the leading edge of it. That’s what CyberNow is all about.”
The mission of TechBirmingham is to strengthen and promote the technology ecosystem by promoting tech companies in the Birmingham region, helping to recruit and retain tech talent and entrepreneurs, and providing opportunities for technical training and education, Gordon said.
To register for the CyberNow Summit, visit cybernowsummit.com. Registration is $179.