Date ArticleType
3/15/2018 Member News

SPC Forum Will Address Cyber Security Threats

This is a press release from St. Petersburg College. For more information, contact Rita Farlow, Assistant Director, Marketing and Strategic Communications, 727-302-6526 or Marilyn Shaw, Public Relations Specialist, 727-341-4712.

SPC Forum Will Address Cyber Security Threats

The United States faces an unprecedented threat to its national security from hackers who invade electronic systems that control military and governmental operations, vital energy, utility and transit grids, and commercial databases containing the financial records of millions of consumers.

How the nation – and individual Americans – can beat back that threat is the focus of a forum presented by the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at St. Petersburg College. Titled Hacked: Can We Win the Cyber Security Battle?, the forum will be from 6 to 8:15 p.m. March 27 at the SPC Seminole Campus, 9200 113th St. N.

The program is presented in partnership with the Florida Center for Cybersecurity at the University of South Florida. Media co-sponsors are the Tampa Bay Times and WEDU Television.

Hacking began in the early days of the internet largely as maladjusted teenagers breaking into computer systems as pranks – or merely to prove they could outsmart the systems’ designers. But it has evolved into a global industry, operated by nation-states and criminal organizations, that costs businesses billions of dollars a year and has the potential to disrupt national elections, as Russia attempted in 2016. It represents a constant threat to personal privacy and organizational secrecy, with businesses losing valuable trade secrets and intellectual property at a startling pace.

Keynote speaker will be Col. John Burger, former director of the Joint Cyber Center at the U.S. Central Command and current Vice-President for Threat Management at ReliaQuest, a Tampa-based cyber security company. He will provide an overview of how the invasion of electronic systems by criminal hackers became such a security threat and what is being done to combat this invasion.

Joining Col. Burger in a panel discussion will be Paul J. Vitchock, FBI Special Agent who manages the Cyber Squad in the Tampa office of the FBI, and Marty J. Smith, Supervisory Protective Security Advisor, Department of Homeland Security. Moderator will be Sri Sridharan, director of the Florida Center for Cybersecurity at USF.
Admission to the dinner program is $25 per person or $20 for students and educators. Advance registration is required at