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Safeguarding Indiana is focus of upcoming cybersecurity summit

For Immediate Release Oct 5, 2021

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – People and companies around the world, including those in Indiana, are faced with a growing list of cyber threats.

Ransomware. Supply chain attacks. Theft of personal records. Computer viruses. Fraud. Espionage. Identity theft. Attacks on critical infrastructure. These threats motivate an urgent need to keep private data protected and information safe.

The first Indiana Statewide Cybersecurity Summit on Oct. 18 will bring together researchers and leaders in cybersecurity from Indiana University, Purdue University and the University of Notre Dame. This virtual event will connect cybersecurity experts and thought leaders across the state, expanding discussions of the ways academia, the private sector, civil society and the public can work more closely to address cyber threats in the state and beyond.

Featured speakers include Dan Coats, a former U.S. senator and former U.S. director of national intelligence, and Meredith Harper, chief information security officer for Eli Lilly and Co. Registration is available online.

“Cybersecurity is central to economic competitiveness and national security, and Indiana’s universities continue to undertake groundbreaking research in this area and provide interdisciplinary cybersecurity training for students,” said Scott Shackelford, associate professor of business law and ethics at the IU Kelley School of Business, executive director of the Ostrom Workshop and chair of IU’s Cybersecurity Risk Management Program. “We are excited to partner with Purdue University and the University of Notre Dame to highlight the cutting-edge cybersecurity research taking place throughout the state and to discuss new opportunities for research collaboration.”

Cyberattacks, including ones using ransomware, disrupt vital services in the state, such as recent attacks at Eskenazi Health in Indianapolis and Hancock Regional Hospital in Greenfield, Indiana. A 2020 survey of more than 300 public and private organizations across Indiana revealed that nearly one-fifth had experienced a cyberattack in the past three years. Additionally, cybersecurity jobs are going unfilled, with as many as 2,300 such jobs currently open in Indiana.

Summit leaders say Indiana universities have robust capabilities that can help in this fight.

“The oldest interdisciplinary cybersecurity research institute and the first cybersecurity degree program in the world are in Indiana,” said Eugene H. Spafford, executive director emeritus of Purdue’s Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security, and a member of the National Cyber Security Hall of Fame. “Indiana universities envision the future on a regular basis, and we can assist others in the state in preparing to meet coming challenges and opportunities.”

As part of the Indiana Statewide Cybersecurity Summit, leaders throughout the state will discuss ways to increase cooperation between key stakeholders, as well as cybersecurity hot topics, such as artificial intelligence, critical infrastructure protection and cyber risk insurance.

Organizers intend to make the summit an annual event that will rotate throughout the state.

“It is an exciting opportunity to partner with Indiana’s public research universities, industry leaders, and state officials to ensure we have a robust cybersecurity infrastructure throughout the state,” said Warren von Eschenbach, associate director for academic affairs at Notre Dame’s Technology Ethics Center.

Media Contact

Office of the Vice President for Research

April Toler

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