U.S. Chamber Brings Cybersecurity Awareness Campaign to Minnesota

Wednesday, September 16, 2015 - 2:00pm

MINNEAPOLIS, MN — The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, today hosted “Cybersecurity Essentials: Is Your Business Protected?,” an event aimed at helping small and mid-size business owners develop, evaluate, and strengthen cybersecurity programs.

“A few years ago, cyberattacks against the government and corporations were on the margins of news stories, but now a day doesn't go by that we don't hear about a data  breach or cyber-intrusion,” said Ann Beauchesne, senior vice president for National Security and Emergency Preparedness at the U.S. Chamber. “Through this summit and our cybersecurity awareness campaign, the Chamber is urging businesses of all sizes to adopt fundamental Internet security practices to reduce network weaknesses and make the price of successful hacking steep.”

With 300 attendees, the event brought together top experts from government, law enforcement, and the private sector to discuss how to navigate the cybersecurity framework released by the White House, give business owners tools and tips for strengthening their cybersecurity programs, and explore ways to communicate about cyber with small and mid-sized supply chain partners.  

“Cybersecurity is a key priority for the Department of Homeland Security, and the private sector is our essential partner as we jointly work to protect our most critical information and systems. In close collaboration with our partners in the private sector, DHS is expanding the breadth and speed of cybersecurity information sharing, providing incident response assistance to victims of cyber compromise, and helping organizations better understand and manage their own cybersecurity risk,” said Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, who spoke at the event.

“We tend to only hear about the most high-profile incidents when online criminals shut down a leading financial institution or steal health care records,” said Douglas B. Loon, Minnesota Chamber president. “But it’s important to note, the threat is not just aimed at large businesses. Small- and medium-sized businesses are the most vulnerable to cyber risks because they often lack the resources to adequately defend themselves. The bottom line is that you can’t wait to get hit to think about how you’ll respond.”

Held at the Hyatt  Regency in Minneapolis, the event featured speakers including Alan Abramson, senior vice president and chief information officer for Information Services and Technology at Health Partners, Inc.; Brad Maiorino, senior vice president and chief information security officer for Target; Mark Eich, CPA, certified information systems auditor, and Information Security principal at Clifton Larson Allen, LLP; Jeff Schilling, chief security officer for Armor; Jason Witty, chief information security officer for US Bank Corporation; Nate Lesser, deputy director for the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence at the National Institute of Standards & Technology; and Thomas A. Baden Jr., commissioner and chief information officer for the State of Minnesota, among others.

This event is part of the U.S. Chamber’s cybersecurity awareness campaign, Improving Today. Protecting Tomorrow., which aims to advance cybersecurity policies and educate business of all sizes about cyber threats and how to protect against them.

You can learn more about the campaign here.   

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.