Homeland Defense and Security Summit looks at ways to fight threats in cyberspace

Homeland Defense and Security Summit looks at ways to fight threats in cyberspace

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Keeping the country safe is proving to be more challenging as new technologies are developed. Governor Phil Bryant brought together cyber security experts from around the world for Tuesday’s Homeland Defense and Security Summit in Biloxi.

“If our enemies figure out through cyber how to bring that down or how to turn it against us, that’s exactly what they’re going to do,” Bryant said during his opening remarks.

Now than ever before, information is right at our fingertips. And without the right defenses, that same information is right at the fingertips of hackers, as well. This is the second time Bryant hosted the International Homeland Defense and Security Summit. This time, to look at new ways of protecting our digital borders.

“There’s more and more data to be collected. It’s easier to be collected, and we haven’t figured out all the ramifications for this," said Drew Hamilton, director of the Center for Cyber Innovation at Mississippi State University.

Hamilton says cyber attacks are a serious threat, especially as technology evolves.

“We’re moving into an online world. And there are advantages to it, but there are huge risks," he said.

And when you're talking about military operations, those risks can't be ignored.

“Cyber security is just one of the major aspects that we have to protect now and defend and make sure that our adversaries are not trying to degrade our capabilities through networks and cyber arena instead of shooting actual kinetic, lethal bullets and trying to destroy us," said Col. John Nipp with the Mississippi Army National Guard.

As more cyber threats emerge, the need for strong partnerships grows more important.

“We all have the same desire, but because we’re all doing it differently, we’re all trying to collaborate and build a partnership," said Nipp.

Foreign companies like the Israeli-based Cyberbit were also at the summit.

“Being able to bring their technologies and provide cyber security - in both ways - having that as a friend, but also as a partner in industry, I think helps both sides," said John Dill, regional sales director for Cyberbit.

It’s a goal to work together to fight today’s biggest threats in cyberspace.

To protect yourself from hackers, experts offer these tips:

  • Make sure your security software is up to date.
  • Disable Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connections when you’re not using them.
  • Create strong passwords.
  • Don’t click on any links from suspicious emails.

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