Cybersecurity is a global issue, and we have regional opportunities

Cybersecurity is a global issue, and we have regional opportunities.

On Tuesday, October 26th the Centralia Community Foundation hosted an in-person Cybersecurity Summit at the Centralia Train Station event space. This is the first in a series of career awareness and exploration events to be held as part of the Foundation’s Career Pathways Initiative. Thanks to sponsorship by Security State Bank, you can watch a video of the keynote presentation. An additional video of our panel discussion Q&A will also be available on the foundation’s Youtube channel and website soon.

This event was well attended by a diverse audience made up of local business owners, entrepreneurs, trades representatives, educators, students, job seekers, local workforce development, and business support agencies. The Keynote Speaker for the event was Steven Parker, CISA, CSSP, founding Director and President of EnergySec. Steven shared the current state of Cybersecurity globally, in the US, and locally. He spoke to the need for industry professionals and discussed the impacts to individuals, businesses, and our Public Utilities when targeted by cyber-criminals and malicious software. In explaining the cyber threat landscape, Steven provided tips to all on how to implement basic protections against specific types of cyber-attacks.

The panel of speakers for the event included Bob Guenther – Career Pathways Chairperson for the Centralia Community Foundation, Lorie Thompson Ed.D. – Career Connect WA Regional Network Administrator & Capital STEM Alliance Director, Dan Hagen – Assistant Professor of the Information Technology Program at Centralia College and JT Mundi – Owner of Chehalis based KODENUM Inc. The panel discussion that followed the speakers was robust and attendees engaged with questions for the panelists. Questions fielded surrounded advice on personal and business security and inquiries regarding training for those who wish to enter the Cybersecurity career field. Local businesses learned about resources available to them locally to upskill current employees to match their security needs. Attendees participated in discussions surrounding upcoming apprenticeship opportunities in Washington State which will prepare job seekers and students for careers in this field.

There will be more to come in the area of IT, Cybersecurity, and other careers in the future. We are developing more and more partnerships with private industries and support organizations in order to assist schools and colleges by creating awareness events and outreach opportunities with job training and career pathways.