Cybersecurity seminar held at Mill Spring Agriculture Center

Published 11:40 am Thursday, December 14, 2023

MILL SPRING—The Mill Spring Agriculture Center recently hosted a cybersecurity seminar aimed at educating private and public organizations about the growing threat of cyberattacks and available resources to tackle them. 

The seminar was organized by local technology company Cloud Ogre and its founder, Anwar Timol, who also owns the Mill Spring Agriculture Center. Attendees from various sectors, including business, education and government, participated in the seminar to learn about tips, plans and advice on protecting technology against cyberattacks.

The keynote speaker was Rob Main, a veteran IT professional with nearly 30 years of leadership experience who has been a member of the US Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency since June 2023. Main talked about North Carolina’s vulnerability to cyberattacks along with the vulnerabilities facing public and private organizations. According to Main, the state faces 14 billion cyber attacks annually.

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The agency’s main job is to provide cybersecurity assistance to critical infrastructure owners, operators and state and local governments in North Carolina. Main showcased the various CISA cybersecurity products, services and other public and private resources they offer to protect and detect malware, ransomware and cybersecurity weaknesses.

“All of our infrastructure is connected. An attack on an oil pipeline and a school system affects other critical infrastructure,” said Main. “Threats to one are threats to all.”

Main’s primary tips for securing business or home computers are relatively simple but effective, and all come down to practicing good cyber hygiene. He says backing up data regularly, using strong passwords, avoiding suspicious links and attachments, updating software and applications regularly, using data encryption, setting up a firewall and investing in reliable security software are all ways to protect against cyber threats.

“CISA is looking to advance a shared vision for cybersecurity in America,” Main said. “We work with our trusted partners to enable a collective defense of our critical infrastructure, including working with those target-rich and cyber-poor entities like small businesses, school districts, water facilities, hospitals, and local election offices to ensure that they have the resources and tools they need.” 

To learn more about CISA, visit www.cisa.gov.