Cybersecurity experts from the FBI and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will be among those convening at Boston College on May 18 for a cyberattack simulation and discussion. FBI special agents Timothy Russell and J.R. Manes, and Homeland Security senior policy analyst Alexandra Friedman will join more than 100 representatives from the commercial industry and state and local government sectors who want to learn more about protecting one of their most valuables assets: data.

“Cybersecurity issues are not going away, especially as we move forward in this digital age,” said event organizer Kevin Powers, program director of the new master's degree in cybersecurity policy & governance at the University’s Woods College of Advancing Studies. “Companies need to address cybersecurity in a strategic and intelligent manner in order to properly manage cyber risk and effectively defend, mitigate, and recover from a cyberattack." 

Information technology experts from Boston College, as well as Mandiant forensics expert Nick Bennett and other representatives from FireEye network security, and counsel from law firm BakerHostetler's privacy and data protection practice, will walk though a mock incident. At its conclusion, a discussion of the legal and technical challenges involved in responding to a cybersecurity incident, from disclosures and insurance to incident response plans, communications strategies and working with law enforcement.

"We’ll get key insights and perspectives from our panel of experts as to how each of them would approach an attack from the perspective of their differing roles, and how they collaborate to mitigate an attack through current best practices," said Powers, who has worked as an attorney at the Department of Justice, the U.S. Navy, and at leading law firms in Boston and Washington, D.C.

“This hands-on event will provide those in private industry and government with a better understanding of the need to develop and implement a unified strategy to address continuing and varying cyber threats," said Powers, who added that the day's program will stress the need for business stakeholders to view cybersecurity as not just an IT issue, but as an important consideration for management.

—Sean Hennessey | News & Public Affairs