Joyce Hosts Cybersecurity Roundtable with Northeast Ohio Schools, Businesses and Local Officials

MENTOR, OH – Last week, Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14) hosted a Cybersecurity Roundtable at the Mentor Schools Paradigm with officials from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). The roundtable provided local leaders with information on how to access federal cybersecurity resources and served as an opportunity for CISA representatives, Terin Williams and Mike McMasters, to answer questions from local officials, school administrators, and small business owners. Williams previously served as the Chief Information Officer for the Ohio Army National Guard and is currently a CISA Cybersecurity Advisor. McMasters is a CISA Protective Security Advisor.

Attendees included representatives from Mentor Schools, Madison Local Schools, Wickliffe City Schools, Education Service Center of the Western Reserve, Willoughby Western Lake County Chamber of Commerce, Auburn Career Center, Mentor Chamber of Commerce, Lakeshore Compact, Fredon Corporation, and Component Repair Technologies, Inc. as well as Lake County Commissioners John Hamercheck and John Plecnik, Mentor City Manager Ken Filipiak, and Mentor Economic Development Director Kevin Malecek.

“From lone wolves to criminal gangs to nation-state actors like Russia and China, nefarious actors target our businesses, schools, state and local governments, and federal agencies millions of times each day,” said Congressman Joyce. “Unfortunately, many of those attempts are successful. That’s why I hosted this cybersecurity roundtable. It’s critical that our communities have the tools and resources they need to combat these ever-evolving threats. I thank Terin and Mike for joining me for this important event and am hopeful that this discussion will help local leaders adopt better cybersecurity practices that will prevent a major cyber incident from happening in Northeast Ohio in the future.”

“Our conversation highlighted how businesses, schools and local governments can build cybersecurity resiliency into their organization,” said Terin Williams, Cybersecurity Advisor for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. “With an awareness of the risks, how to prepare for them, and how to respond, organizations can be better positioned to adopt and understand cybersecurity practices. Organizations can visit StopRansomware.gov for more information on how they can take steps to prevent attacks.”

“The Cybersecurity Roundtable with CISA, set up by Congressman Dave Joyce, was an enlightening experience,” said Amy Olbrysh, Head of IT, Component Repair Technologies, Inc. “As attackers become more sophisticated, it is refreshing to know that CISA has free resources available to help businesses of all sizes.  We look forward to working with CISA and Terin Williams in the near future.”

“I greatly appreciate the information that Congressman Joyce and the Department of Homeland Security – Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Administration recently shared at the Mentor Paradigm Center,” said Dr. Brian Bontempo, Superintendent of the Auburn Career Center. “It has given business and community leaders an opportunity to review their own organizational security practices. We also now have contacts to the Ohio DHS-CISA leadership to help us when needed.”

“We were pleased to take part in this Cybersecurity Roundtable event, which provided an excellent learning opportunity for business and school leaders in our community about this important topic that affects us all,” said Mentor Superintendent Bill Porter. “We appreciate Dave Joyce’s idea to bring everyone together and connect us with representatives and resources from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). This partnership will be invaluable moving forward as we work together to build stronger professional development and protections against cyberattacks for our community.”

“Representing the Willoughby Western Lake County Chamber of Commerce, I greatly appreciated the opportunity to attend the cybersecurity roundtable hosted by Congressman David Joyce,” said Karen Tercek, President/CEO of the Willoughby Western Lake County Chamber of Commerce. “The presentation was very valuable and provided critical information that we can convey to the many small businesses that the Chamber of Commerce serves.  Thank you to Congressman Joyce and his team for providing such a great opportunity to bring this important issue through the roundtable meeting.”

As part of its mission to build the national capacity to defend against cyberattacks, CISA provides federal cybersecurity support for public and private entities:

  • CISA offers several free cybersecurity trainings and webinars to support state, local, tribal, and territorial governments (SLTT), critical infrastructure owners and operators, and K-12 institutions. 
  • CISA offers several programs, technical assistance, tools, exercises, and awareness efforts to raise the level of understanding of risks and mitigation strategies for critical infrastructure owners and operators. 
  • CISA offers several cyber hygiene services to proactively bolster the defense of organizations at no cost. This includes vulnerability scanning, phishing campaign assessment, web application scanning, and remote penetration testing. 
  • CISA recently launched the ‘Reduce the Risk of Ransomware’ Campaign to raise awareness to combat the evolving threat. CISA’s campaign is focused on encouraging organizations to implement basic cybersecurity best practices, and leverage tools and resources from CISA to help reduce cyber risks. 

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