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State and Regional Higher Ed Cybersecurity Collaborations and Events

Many of you have probably heard about the Virginia Alliance for Secure Computing And Networking (VA SCAN). Their unique collaboration and partnership has been featured in a few different EDUCAUSE conference programs. I had the opportunity yesterday to participate in their conference ("Meeting IT Challenges: National Strategies and Local Solutions") that was co-hosted with the Association of Collegiate Computing Services. Below are a few observations:

  • State or regional collaborations are an excellent, cost-effective way to facilitate human networking and resource sharing among institutions with similar interests, possibly including the in common need to respond to the security requirements of state government.
  • Conferences held at the state or regional level also provide an affordable way for institutions to send multiple individuals to participate, often without the need for overnight stays and with minimal travel costs.
  • Although cybersecurity is a global problem and the residents of the East Coast have similar needs with individuals in other parts of the U.S. and around the globe, the growing numbers of security professionals in the U.S. and abroad will require us to fragment into smaller communities over time - and geographic communities will continue to be a natural method by which security professionals will congregate.
  • State or regional conferences allow you to highlight and promote local talent, ranging from Presidents who can serve as cybersecurity advocates (VASCAN conference featured JMU's President Linwood Rose) to policy and technical experts.

Accordingly, despite the efforts of the Security Task Force to create national forums (such as the Security Professionals Conference) or regional professional development opportunities (such as the pre-conference seminars provided at the EDUCAUSE Regional Conferences), we are also eager to support and promote state and regional efforts that are organized by member institutions. A listing of State/Regional Cybersecurity Events for Higher Education is maintained on our web site. Please keep us informed of your activities (send event notifications to Security-Task-Force@educause.edu) and let us know if you need any assistance in identifying speakers or program content.

We are pleased to see local alliances and partnerships emerge that in turn support the broader national and international efforts to secure cyberspace.

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