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Saltmarsh Opens Eyes to Cyber Threats in Panel Discussion

9/29/2016 - By Zachary Farrington

Local experts met for a panel discussion on Tuesday, September 27th at Pensacola State College (PSC) to address the complex issues of cyber safety and security. This event, sponsored by Summit Bank, brought together professionals with specific knowledge of how cyber-related issues are impacting the financial, insurance, legal, and technological aspects of our lives and businesses.

Bill Wein, president of IMS ExpertServices, acted as moderator for the panel to help jumpstart the conversation and facilitate ongoing discussion. Frank Hall, COO of Summit Bank, focused on how banks like Summit are leading the way in transitioning from “.com” to “.bank” domain names for added security. 

Stephen Reyes, shareholder of Information Technology Services for Saltmarsh, offered a unique perspective on the panel. As a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), he provided an eye-opening demonstration of how simply cyber-attacks can occur and insight into how companies can better detect cyber threats. 

“Cyber security is a three-legged stool: prevention, detection, and reaction. Where most businesses fail is in detecting that cyber threats have even occurred,” warned Reyes. “On average, it can take companies 14 months to realize and react to their network being hacked.”

Companies can react to cyber-attacks through legal means and protect themselves with cyber insurance policies. Emmanuel, Sheppard & Condon’s Sally Fox explained what legal measures are in place and what guidelines companies must follow in pursuing recourse. Reid Rushing, president of Beck Partners Insurance, highlighted advancements and differences in new cyber security policies. 

Dr. Kirk Bradley, Dean at PSC, brought the discussion around full circle by explaining how PSC and other institutions are proactively educating students to deal with cyber security issues and adapt to the changes.

"The more that we're aware of the threats that are against us,” noted Dr. Bradley, “the more we're able to prepare and defend against those threats."

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