Event recap: Inaugural OK-ISAC Symposium
By Christa Helfrey
Within the past two years, the State of Oklahoma has faced more cyberthreats than ever before. As our state workforce transitioned to telework during the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of employees prepared for the unexpected. However, cybersecurity experts at the Office of Management and Enterprise Services were already taking steps to secure state devices for remote staff. By working together with information technology professionals in the public and private sector, they established a network of shared threat intelligence and strategies to defend against attacks, protect the state’s data and keep citizens safe.
On Dec. 1, OMES’ Oklahoma Cyber Command team hosted the inaugural Oklahoma Information Sharing and Analysis Center Symposium as part of 2021 InnoTech Oklahoma, the region’s largest annual business, IT and cybersecurity conference, at the Oklahoma City Convention Center.
The first-ever OK-ISAC Symposium was 1 of 4 featured events at InnoTech Oklahoma, offering an estimated 1,000 attendees the opportunity to build relationships and learn more about what Oklahoma Cyber Command and its partners have accomplished since the pandemic began. These accomplishments include enabling over 30,000 state employees to work securely from home for the first time, launching the OK-ISAC platform in September 2020, and establishing the Oklahoma Civilian Cyber Corp, a new program aimed at providing cybersecurity support to communities across the state.
“The goal of this conference was to provide education and enrichment about cybersecurity in the State of Oklahoma,” said Chance Grubb, Oklahoma Cyber Command senior staff officer and OK-ISAC lead. “[Attendees] really got visibility into what OMES and Oklahoma Cyber Command are doing to protect citizen data and key takeaways on what they can be doing in their own organizations, and some of the resources available to help them mature their cybersecurity posture.”
Symposium speakers included state Chief Information Security Officer Matt Singleton, Grubb and other Oklahoma Cyber Command team members in addition to private-sector partners like Anomali, Flashpoint, Splunk, Mimecast and Zscaler, presenting topics from the evolution of cyber warfare and cyber-threat intelligence to fraud detection and incident response.
Grubb said collaboration is a key driver of OK-ISAC, which serves as a free community of regional companies and cybersecurity professionals and offers real-time monitoring, vulnerability identification, incident response and sharing of cyber-threat intelligence.
“We need to work together because the bad guys are working together,” Grubb said. “Cultivating cybersecurity awareness and starting that collaboration and conversation with other organizations across the state, it’s moving to that mentality that cybersecurity is a team effort.”
The second-annual OK-ISAC Symposium is slated for October 2022 to align with Cybersecurity Awareness Month. For more information about Oklahoma Cyber Command and how you can join OK-ISAC, visit cybersecurity.ok.gov.