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Cyber PiracyPrivacy   IN THE AGE OF BIG DATA


Cyber threat to small business is real and continuing to grow.  Everyday each of us hear of the multiple incidents of cyber attacks hitting businesses around the country. Whether the attacks are criminal in nature, initiated through state actors, or from a lone hacker sitting at their computer, they each can have a devastating effect on a small business. 

Creating a cyber security culture in your business involves more than providing tools like firewalls and virus protection software. Experts uniformly agree that educating employees about the threats of data breaches and cyber theft is a critical step in protecting your company's invaluable data. 

But while most small businesses understand the need for a comprehensive data security program, many still believe hackers are only interested in going after big companies, and therefore may not take all the precautions that they should. In fact, statistics compiled by the National Cyber Security Alliance paint a disturbing portrait of small business vulnerability:

  • Almost 50 percent of small businesses have experienced a cyber attack. 

  • More than 70 percent of attacks target small businesses.

  • More than 75 percent of employees leave their computers unsecured.

  • As much as 60 percent of small and medium-sized businesses that experience a data breach go out of business after six months.


A breach or attack can result in a significant loss of income, particularly if the small business involved lacks cyber liability insurance. If news of the breach goes public, the damage to the business's brand may be insurmountable.

Leaving your business data exposed to cyber attacks is simply too great a risk to ignore. The best defensive strategy is creating a cyber security culture in the workplace that greatly tips the odds of success in your favor.

Dr. Michael Owens currently leads the Global Cyber Program for eQUIFAX  within the Forensics, Investigations & Dispute service. Follow on Twitter @MichaelOwensGA 

Dr. Michael Owens is a senior-level global business leader, entrepreneur, and cybersecurity executive with over 20 years of experience within military, corporate and government organizations.
Michael's professional focus is on cybersecurity, cyber policy, threat intelligence and strategic technology planning.

Michael is the president and CEO of the U.S. Global Center of Cyber Policy. This non-government organization provides Federal, State and Local governments with expert information about cybersecurity, cybercrime and cyberwarfare trends, strategies and policies from a domestic and international perspective. Prior this, Michael led the Global Cybersecurity, Cybercrime and Critical Infrastructure Program for Equifax within the Forensics, Investigations & Dispute division. In that role, he was responsible for the global strategic direction and standardization of threat intelligence, cybersecurity assessmements and audits and incident response services. Prior to this, Michael worked at Cisco Systems leading the Advanced Services Public Sector service delivery team. During this time, he led cybersecurity assessment and deployment services engagements for all state and local government agencies in the U.S. southeast market.

Michael has extensive international work experience, much of that gathered while working as the Senior Manager of Global Network & Security Services for SITA. As an entrepreneur, Michael pioneered the practice of technical managed services as the founder and president of an innovative IT consulting firm.
Michael is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He is a member of the World Affairs Council of Atlanta, a Political Partner with the Truman National Security Project and a VP - Board of Directors with LISTA's Georgia TechLatino Council.

The lists of schools that Michael has attended include, North Carolina A&T State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, California Intercontinental University and Harvard University.

Tania Allen President and CEO Itigresa | 2018 Businesswoman of the Year | Robotics influencer

Tania Allen is a dynamic professional, leading an IT consulting practice in Networking, Information Technology, and Cybersecurity. Our goal is to assist with technology so the business owner can focus on their businesses instead of IT. The ItGresa team is able to conduct threat assessments, design, build, optimize and configure networks, and create the best solutions for their online and physical presence with Cybersecurity in mind. Businesses should look to ItGresa for their Networking, Cybersecurity and Online presence needs.

Many years of experience in IT, Networking and Telecommunications in the oil industry in Venezuela. Fully bilingual in English and Spanish.

Tania Allen was recognized as Businesswoman of the Year in 2018

Michael A. Echols, CEO, MAX Cybersecurity 8a Certified, Dept. of Homeland Security, CISO, Author, Speaker Investor, IACI

Michael A. Echols is a senior cybersecurity executive and critical infrastructure protection strategist working with senior corporate leaders and government officials to make the nation more resilient. He is leading a revolution to stand-up and support Information Sharing and Analysis Organizations (ISAO). As such, Mr. Echols leads a global effort to harmonize cyber threat information sharing. Previously, Mr. Echols managed cyber resiliency programs for the Department of Homeland Security while assisting in the advancement of risk reduction. As the point person for the rollout of President Obama's EO 13691, he developed a national program for ISAOs.

At DHS, Mr. Echols chaired activities optimizing national programs, cybersecurity strategy, interagency coordination, public safety and counterterrorism across federal agencies and the private sector. Mr. Echols Chaired the Communications Sector, IT Sector and managed the President's National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee.

Mr. Echols' leadership has resulted in value creation and models for Government and Industry partnerships across the Communications, IT, and other critical sectors. He has aligned risk management strategies between operations, policy, and tactical to support the evolving hazards to the nation. 

Prior to joining the Government as a Federal employee, Mr. Echols advised federal officials and served DHS as a consultant on matters related to outreach, threat information management, protection of national networks, national security, emergency communications, and disaster management.

Recently Michael authored a new book called "Secure Cyber Life" The Government is Not Comming to Save You

Opening Remarks Cyber, Piracy, Privacy un the Age of Big Data Panel

Dr. Rosa Arriaga, Senior Research Scientist Georgia Tech University, College of Computing

Dr. Arriaga is a developmental psychologist in the School of Interactive Computing. Her emphasis is on using psychological theories and methods to address fundamental topics of human computer interaction. Her current research interest is in the area of chronic care management. Recently she has addressed some of the following questions: how software solutions can improve asthma management in children, how crowd sourcing can aid individuals with autism spectrum disorders and their caregiver, and how lab-based technologies can be scaled and deployed to broaden their impact. She is interested in test the hypothesis that systems designed with principles of human development and cognition can be effective across different clinical populations simply by altering the content (e.g., from asthma information to diabetes information).

She received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Harvard University. She was an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Southern New Hampshire University before joining the faculty at Georgia Tech. She is currently a Senior Research Scientist in Interactive Computing and has been the Director of Pediatric Research at the Health Systems Institute since 2009. In this role, she has forged important relationships with both private and public community partners in the greater Atlanta metro area.


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