Keynote Speaker Dr. Kent Rhodes, Pepperdine University Graziadio Business School speaks at the Cybersecurity Forum held at the Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center at College of the Canyons in Valencia on Wednesday, November 6, 2019. Dan Watson/The Signal

Chamber hosts cybersecurity forum

The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce hosted “Take Control Before It Controls You,” a cybersecurity forum, on Wednesday to help local businesses protect themselves against cyberattacks.

With a slate of guest speakers from different backgrounds, the forum focused on tackling cybersecurity from various angles, including business, insurance and information technology.

“You see all kinds of threats these days,” guest speaker Michael Wong of Webroot cybersecurity said. “You have ransomware, crypto-logging, crypto-mining and all of those are all real threats. Our job is to keep customers up to speed with what’s actually out there … how do we come into play as to the target and protect against (those threats).”

In addition to understanding threats, attendees were given an opportunity to learn the implications behind making assumptions about cybersecurity from keynote speaker Kent Rhodes of Pepperdine University Graziadio Business School, who used the example of earthquakes and the tremendous amount of data available to us.

Attendees listen to speakers during the Cybersecurity Forum held at the Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center at College of the Canyons in Valencia on Wednesday, November 6, 2019. Dan Watson/The Signal

Rhodes posed the question of how we can develop a deeper awareness of the mindsets we have that keep us from acting rather than just reacting.

“There’s something about us, as human beings, that we don’t want to react to that,” Rhodes said. “We want someone else to take care of it. You know, if I put together an earthquake kit, I’m acknowledging that this is possible, that there’s a real danger. So, if I acknowledge to myself that cybersecurity and cybercrime is a very real problem, not to my company, but to me, I get a little panicky.”

Rhodes added that we need to take responsibility for ourselves and understand that everyone has a role to play in protecting themselves, instead of making assumptions that someone else will take care of the problem.

These assumptions then allow us to create conclusions, allowing us to develop a mindset rather than being open to what the actual data is.

“With technology evolving so quickly, I have to admit I haven’t paid enough attention to cybersecurity,” attendee Chris Redd said. “I definitely related to what Rhodes was saying and am starting to realize my role in protecting myself from attacks is bigger than just changing my password every few months.”

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