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Michael Williams leads the student panel and audience participation
ISO’s Michael Williams leads the student panel and audience participation

More than 200 people attended the Information Security Office’s day-long SecurityCon event on October 9 at the Carolina Union.

This was the second annual SecurityCon, a day-long event for students, faculty and staff interested in learning more about information security. Attendance for the day was up from 2018.

For SecurityCon 2019, the Information Security Office (ISO) consolidated into one day a keynote address, two discussion panels, tech demos, an interactive hacking competition, networking opportunities, free pizza for lunch and other giveaways.

From ITS, the Service Desk and ResNET connected with campus customers as did other exhibitors from BeAM, Pearl Hacks and Ntropy, the hands-on UNC Cybersecurity CTF Club.

Increasing security awareness

“The department came together as a team,” said ISO’s Charlie Mewshaw, “to deliver an experience that will have a lasting impact on our campus community’s awareness and understanding of not only current information security topics, but also the broader IT resources available to them through other ITS groups that can further assist when they encounter those topics in the real world.”

An ITS employee assists a SecurityCon participant on an activity on a computer
SecurityCon activities include an interactive hacking competition

Mewshaw, IT Security Specialist, is one of the key organizers of SecurityCon.

The Information Security Office holds SecurityCon each year during October’s National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

Former Google exec was keynote

SecurityCon’s keynote speaker was Lea Kissner the Chief Privacy Officer for Humu, a Silicon Valley tech company. She’s also the former Global Lead of Privacy Technology at Google. Kissner has worked for more than a decade on such projects as logs anonymization, infrastructure security, privacy infrastructure, and privacy engineering.

For SecurityCon’s first discussion panel of the day, ISO brought in chief information security officers from the region’s college campuses, UNC Health Care and the UNC System. For the second panel discussion, three Carolina students talked about their perspectives on information security. One panelist, Hasan Asadi, is a student employee with ISO.

The Information Security Office plans to continue the annual event into 2020. ISO is already discussing feedback and looks forward to further boosting information security awareness on campus.

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