Experts talk cybersecurity at conference in Grand Rapids

Michigan Cyber Security Conference, Grand Rapids
The Michigan Cyber Security Conference in Grand Rapids. (Oct. 5, 2016)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Hundreds of people got together in Grand Rapids Wednesday to learn more about cybersecurity and how to protect themselves and their companies from attacks.

Executives, security professionals and students were among the people who showed up to the Michigan Cyber Security Conference to learn more about how to keep their technology safe.

The conference also featured a keynote address from FBI Special Agent Don Whitt, who said that 4,000 cyberattacks are reported each day. He expects thousands more go unreported every day.

“Former FBI Director Robert Mueller said there’s two kinds of companies: those that have been hacked and those that will be,” said John Hey of the Trivalent Group, a Grandville-based IT firm that backed the conference. “So obviously you’re trying to prolong the inevitable as long as possible. But ultimately, you want to mitigate your risk, be smart, constantly bring education to your user or your organization so that you can prolong any potential impacts and you can minimize any potential impacts.”

Experts say we aren’t behind the attackers in terms of ability, but it’s a constant effort to keep up with their tactics. That’s why the event also featured a special session for students interested in cybersecurity careers — the next generation of people tasked with stopping hackers.