Former National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers and BlackBerry CEO John Chen headline the speakers at the National Cyber Symposium that begins Thursday at The Broadmoor.
Dale Hetke, chief operating officer of the National Cybersecurity Center, which is hosting the symposium, said up to 400 cybersecurity professionals, government officials, corporate executives and others are expected to attend the two-day event, and up to 600 are expected to attend the symposium dinner Thursday. That’s up from 220 participants in last year’s symposium and 400 attending the dinner.
“When it comes to cybersecurity, there should not be competition; we should all be working together,” Hetke said, reflecting the symposium themes of innovation, hope and fusion of people and computers.
Rogers, a retired Navy admiral who was commander of U.S. Cyber Command, had been scheduled as the featured speaker at the symposium’s dinner but switched to be the opening speaker because of a scheduling conflict. He is expected to talk about his experience with the NSA and Cyber Command, which included responding to Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Rogers was replaced as the banquet speaker by Maj. Gen. Kimberly Crider, mobilization assistant to the commander of Air Force Space Command. She will be part of a panel that also includes Erin Miller, vice president of operations for the Space Information Sharing and Analysis Center, an affiliate of symposium host the National Cybersecurity Center. The panel is expected to discuss threats in space and whether U.S. satellites are vulnerable to cyberattacks.
John Chen, executive chairman and CEO of BlackBerry, follows Rogers on the agenda and is expected to discuss the company’s move from its popular mobile devices to software and cybersecurity, largely through acquisitions. A native of Hong Kong while the city was still under British control, he has served on many councils and committees related to U.S.-China trade and relations.
The symposium also will feature multiple breakout sessions on election security, education and training, workforce development, artificial intelligence and the growth of internet-connected devices. The second day will include the Mayor’s Cyber Cup, a competition among students to create public service announcements about cyberbullying, safe social media and online practices and cybersecurity for children. The creator of the winning announcement will receive a free iPad.