Kansas SBDC Cybersecurity Forum


On April 25, 2018, the Kansas SBDC is putting on a Cybersecurity Forum in Manhattan, KS. Small businesses are increasingly targets of cyberattacks, with 60% of those going out of business within 6 months and the average cost of recovery being $117,000 according to the National Cyber Security Alliance.

The Kansas SBDC brings together experts – see list at bottom of article – from various fields to help educate business leaders, management and small business owners in Kansas about cybersecurity risks and corresponding issues. The goals of the forum are (1) to elevate the level of discussion in our community about cybersecurity in order to reduce the exposure of small businesses to cybersecurity threats and (2) to connect small businesses with available resources.

Attendees will gain an appreciation of what are the risks, how to defend against and mitigate the risks, information security basics, employee management, policy and training issues, legal issues, budgeting for cybersecurity and return on investment, how to recover from security breaches, and what to expect in the rapidly evolving area of cyber threats and regulations going into the future. Industry-specific information will also be presented in breakout sessions for medical service providers and related businesses, financial services, government contractors, manufacturers, ag businesses and unmanned aerial systems, manufacturers, and micro-businesses.

The Kansas SBDC Cybersecurity Forum aims to educate people who do not have a technical background about cybersecurity and the issues that surround it. Examples of people who should attend this event include business owners and management, HR professionals and anyone handling confidential or sensitive information (e.g., attorneys and accountants), leadership in the extended business community, and anyone who would benefit from the industry-specific breakout-sessions that are included in the program. This event is a valuable opportunity for the extended business community to learn about cybersecurity and important related topics.

Speakers, Panelists and Panel Moderators:

  • Gina Becker, Vice President at DynaSim Technical Services, Inc.
  • Amy Billinger, Partner at Anneal Initiative, Inc.
  • Leslie Carter, Business Line Systems Analyst II, Commerce Bank
  • Brian Dennis, Director of the Kansas SBDC Cybersecurity Center
  • Robert Dewhirst, Manager of Cybersecurity, Disaster Recovery and Continuity at Security Benefits, Inc.
  • Jim Flynn, Director of Information Security at Civic Plus
  • Justin Geering, President of InterKan.Net
  • Chris Gilbert, CIO, Bankers Bank of Kansas
  • William Gold, Information Systems Leader at Meadowlark Hills
  • Danielle Hall, Deputy State Administrator, State of Kansas
  • John Haverty, Assistant Director of User Services, Washburn University
  • Jeremy Heit, Director of Infrastructure Services, KSU Foundation
  • Jeremy Jackson, Partner Anneal Initiative, Inc
  • Darrin Jones, Special Agent In Charge FBI, KC Office (Keynote Speaker)
  • Karl Klein, Regional Director of the Washburn University Kansas SBDC
  • Scott Minneman, COO, Redi Systems, Inc.
  • Chuck Mioni, IT Security Analyst, Washburn University
  • Matthew Moriarty, Senior Associate Attorney with Koprince Law, LLC
  • Dr. Dmitri Nizovtsev, Professor of Economics, Washburn University
  • Dr. Laurie Pieper, Business Advisor, Washburn University Kansas SBDC
  • Dr. Gary Pratt, Chief Information Officer, Kansas State University
  • Lisa Roberts, Associate Director of the Kansas SBDC
  • Benjamin Roe, Lead Engineer, Booz, Allen, Hamilton Strategic Innovation Group
  • Joseph Schmidt, Special Agent, IRS Criminal Investigation Division
  • Dan Strom, Managing Consultant at Sure Defense, Kansas Farm Bureau
  • Jill Tillery, Channel Account Manager, WatchGuard
  • Ashley Urban, Legacy Solutions Insurance
  • Elisa Waldman, Regional Director of the Johnson County Community College Kansas SBDC
  • Dr. Stephen Welch, Professor, Dept. of Agronomy, Kansas State University
  • Tracilla Wilnerd, LTA Taxpayer Advocate Service Internal Revenue Service
  • Jeff Wright, Regional Sales Manager, REDI Systems, Inc.

More information and online registration are available here. For further assistance, call (785) 234-3235. We hope to see you at the event!

The sponsors for the Kansas SBDC Cybersecurity Forum:  America’s SBDC Kansas, Washburn University Kansas SBDC, the Kansas SBDC Cybersecurity Center, WatchGuard, Kansas Farm Bureau Sure Defense, WTC, Pottawatomie County Economic Development, the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce, the Junction City Area Chamber of Commerce – Economic Development and Membership Services Divisions,  Central National Bank, Commerce Bank, Anneal Initiative Inc., Legacy Solutions Insurance, Redi Systems Inc., Civic Plus, DynaSim Technical Services Inc., HRMN, the SBA and the Kansas Department of Commerce. Thank you to the people and organizations and businesses contributing toward making this event a success!

Laurie Pieper, Ph.D.

Business Advisor

Washburn University Kansas SBDC

America’s SBDC Kansas



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