The city of Roanoke is hosting the Regional Cybersecurity Workshop Series on Wednesday, August 22.
“You’re not alone,” said Shawn Talmadge, assistant secretary of public safety and homeland security. “We have to collaborate. We have to work together.”
It’s a statewide campaign launched by Governor Northam that seeks to strengthen the relationships between state and local IT officials, and to increase awareness for the cybersecurity programs the state can offer.
“What we’re trying to do is a number of things,” said Talmadge. “Number one is we’re trying to improve the awareness of state level programs that can assist localities – secure their cyber infrastructure. And then we also want to strengthen those relationships at the local level.”
Talmadge says cybersecurity issues start and end at the local level, and can affect everyone.
“What we’re seeing in today’s cyber security world is everything is connected to the Internet – government IT systems are no different. So when an incident occurs, it can produce a physical impact. It could impact our power grid, it could impact the data that the city or counties use on a daily basis.”
The workshop is an opportunity for local officials to explain issues they’ve seen in the region, and for state officials to collaborate and find solutions for those problems.
“The state and federal government – we’re really there to support the localities,” said Talmadge. “So number two – the Virginia Department of Emergency Management is organized at a regional basis. So there’s seven regions. And that was one our goals – to strengthen the relationship between the emergency management community and the information technology community.”
Workshop participants will receive briefings from the Virginia Fusion Cyber Intelligence Unit, Virginia National Guard cyber assessment program, Virginia Cyber Incident Response Plan, and State Cyber Grant Program.
The workshop will conclude with a discussion on developing a regionalized approach to cyber security issues.