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First Annual Homeland Security Seminar Held at Texas A&M University

June 27, 2014

Dr. David McIntyre explains the lack of a comprehensive cyber-security strategy and provides some ideas to build one to the participants of the 2014 Homeland Security Seminar

On June 17-18, the Bush School of Government and Public Service’s Certificate in Homeland Security program and the Emergency Services Training Institute in the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) co-sponsored a Homeland Security Seminar at the Brayton Fire Training Field, the first such joint effort at Texas A&M University.  Camber Corporation out of Birmingham, Alabama, participated as the corporate sponsor.  The seminar focused on emergency management and cyber security. 

The eighty seminar attendees included representatives from state, county, and local government; the Texas Military Forces and National Guard; the federal government, including the US Marshalls Service, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and several private firms.

“Seminar attendees reflected the multi-jurisdictional nature of those who respond to disasters or terrorist attacks. Not only did we have local, state, and federal officials but also several private firms were represented,” said Dr. Danny Davis, who directs the Bush School’s graduate Certificate in Homeland Security program.  Andrew Card, former Bush School dean and former secretary of transportation, set the tone for the seminar in his keynote address, which reflected his unique experience as an elected state official, executive in the private sector, and official in two presidential administrations.  The first day concluded with a tour of the excellent facilities of the Brayton Fire Training Field. 

Day two opened with TEEX experts presenting informative classes on emergency management subjects.  Talks included “Disaster Medical Response” by Chief David Martin, “Interface with Local Elected Officials” by Col. (ret.) Richard Comley, “Public Works Role in Disaster Management” by Mr. Francis Melton, and “Incident Management” by Mr. George Glenn. 

The cyber portion of the seminar began with a presentation by Montana Williams of the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) concerning the ongoing Department of Homeland Security program to educate the public on the critical importance of protecting against the cyber threat to businesses and institutions.  Dr. David McIntyre gave a talk entitled “Velocity without Vector: Creating the Missing Cyber Strategy,” a look at the cyber threat as warfare.  Dr. Dwayne Whitten of the Mays Business School focused on the character of the cyber threat facing organizations today.

“The cyber threat is widespread and insidious,” said Whitten.  “Phishing, malware, viruses, scams, etc. threaten not only businesses and government agencies but also individual Americans,” he added. 

FBI Special Agent Angela Haun’s informative presentation covered cyber security threats, trends, mitigation strategies, and information sharing opportunities.  She described the FBI cyber security program, Infragard, and provided a clear picture of the magnitude of cyber crimes, including examples of recently committed offenses and some attempted crimes that were prevented. Former FBI Agent Tim Shaw, from the Advanced Technical Intelligence Center, discussed cyber security and the intermediate manager.  The day concluded with a cyber security open forum panel discussion.

Dr. Jason Moats, Program Director, TEEX, Emergency Services Training Institute, and Dr. Davis are already making plans for a follow-on emergency management and cyber security seminar that will be aimed at state, county, and local government personnel.  To be added to the seminar invitation list, contact the Bush School’s Office of Extended Education at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call 1-866-988-2874.

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