Thomas Nelson Hosts 2017 Hampton Roads Regional Cybersecurity Conference

October 6, 2017

As Cybersecurity continues to grow as a major concern for individuals, businesses, and government agencies, the need to advance cybersecurity counter-measures and strategies are critical; however, the need for professionals in this field is outpacing the pipeline at all levels from local entities to global organizations.

The United States National Security Agency (NSA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have officially designated Thomas Nelson Community College (Thomas Nelson) as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Two-Year Education (CAE2Y).

“This impressive designation for Thomas Nelson Community College is not only good news for Hampton Roads, but for the entire Commonwealth,” said Governor McAuliffe.

“Virginia needs a cybersecurity workforce to combat the growing threat of cybercrime and to contribute to this thriving economic sector, and Thomas Nelson will play a central role in building it…”

As a newly designated CAE2Y, Thomas Nelson is honored to continue the conversation of cybersecurity and national security in Hampton Roads through the 2017 Hampton Roads Regional Cybersecurity Conference. This year’s conference will be held Friday, October 13, from 7 a.m. – 3 p.m., at the Dr. Mary T. Christian Auditorium, Templin Hall at Thomas Nelson’s Hampton campus.

Featured speakers include Karen Jackson, Virginia Secretary of Technology.

“Attaining an NSA certification takes years of dedication and leadership,” said Secretary of Technology Karen Jackson. “By achieving this certification, Thomas Nelson has entered an elite group of community colleges in Virginia that are positioned to expand opportunities for their students in Virginia's growing cyber-ecosystem."

This year’s keynote speaker is Rear Admiral Danelle Barrett, Navy Cyber Security Division Director. Barrett was commissioned in 1989 and previously served in various operational tours at U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Fifth Fleet as well as commander of Second Fleet, Carrier Strike Group Two, Multi-National Forces Iraq and Carrier Strike Group Twelve. Her shore assignments have included service as allied commander at the Atlantic Systems Support Center in Norfolk, Virginia; chief of Naval Operations Task Force Web; commanding officer of Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station Atlantic; chief of staff at the Navy Information Dominance Forces Command; and senior Navy fellow at the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association.

This year’s theme, Cybersecurity and the Internet of Everything, focuses on the world we live in today, where new technologies that connect us to the Internet are being introduced every day. It is expected that by the year 2020 the number of devices using the Internet will be in the billions.  With every device connected to the Internet another opportunity opens for new cyber threats.

“Thomas Nelson continues to provide regional leadership through our annual Cybersecurity Conference, our role in arranging cybersecurity internships sponsored by the Business Higher Education Forum, and our participation in the Hampton Roads Cybersecurity Education, Workforce, and Economic Development Alliance (HRCyber),” stated John Dever, Thomas Nelson President. “We are pleased that these activities align with and support the Governor’s initiative for a New Virginia Economy.”