SuperTalk Mississippi

Mississippi College to host Cybersecurity Summit

Photo Courtesy of Mississippi College

Nearly 100 people recently registered to attend Mississippi College’s first Cybersecurity Summit. And the list keeps growing.

Business representatives, educators, IT professionals, bank employees and students are among those signed up for the April 10-11 sessions on the Clinton campus.

The university’s 2018 summit is designed to engage, educate and raise awareness about cybersecurity issues impacting the world. National experts are booked to share their insights about cybersecurity challenges that can cripple companies and government agencies as well as individuals.

People attending the conference come from such schools as Delta State University, Belhaven University and Northeast Mississippi Community College. Others coming include Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company employees, bank officials and IT professionals from the Clinton Public School District.

The complex subject is pretty timely and generating news coverage almost daily.

“The topic of cybersecurity is affecting millions of Americans today,” says MC School of Law professor Alina Ng Boyte. “Interdisciplinary dialogue must happen among policy makers, software engineers, technologists and anyone else who has a stake in protecting data and computerized operations to come up with a way to address these issues.”

Cyber assaults in the form of worms or viruses can have huge impacts on businesses, banks, hospitals, and defense systems. “A cybersecurity summit is an opportune time to begin this interdisciplinary dialogue,” said Boyte, one of the conference speakers.

“Cyberspace is the new battlefield,” says MC computer science professor Melissa Wiggins, the event coordinator. “We are very excited to host this summit and offer insights and solutions to a critical, growing problem.”

The conference cost is $150 for general admission, $75 for educators and $30 for students. There is a Tuesday evening session on the Clinton campus that’s free and open to the public.

Speakers include: Maeghin Alarid, lead policy analyst with Toeroek Associates of Colorado Springs, Colorado. Others are Mark Goldman, a senior executive and board member with SCOUT in Atlanta. Also: Greg Hofstrand, director of SETA Operations with Independent Software of Baltimore, Maryland.

Mississippi College offers a graduate program and certificate in cybersecurity studies.

MC Graduate School Dean Debbie Norris is helping spread the word to business people, community leaders and others about the summit’s value. No matter whether it is a hospital, business or government agency, she said, “no one seems exempt from the risk.”

For more information, contact Melissa Wiggins at or call 601-925-3874. Other details are available online at

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