Addressing Smart Cities and IIoT Security at the 20th Annual Cybersecurity Symposium at UNC Charlotte

UNC Charlotte Cybersecurity Symposium

By Mike Miracle, senior vice president marketing and strategy

For the 4th consecutive year, BlackRidge is participating in the sold-out 20th Annual Cybersecurity Symposium at UNC Charlotte on October 9. Organized by the university’s College of Computing and Informatics, this premier regional security gathering addresses cutting-edge cybersecurity issues and best practices to help businesses and other organizations mitigate security risks. This is the first year BlackRidge is speaking at the event, as we deliver compelling presentations on Smart Cities and Industrial IoT security.

John Walsh, our chief strategy and technology officer, will present a morning breakout session, “Securing the Industrial IoT Connected Ecosystem.” His session will cover major IIoT market trends — such as the convergence of IT and OT (operational technology) networks, the gaps this convergence has highlighted in existing security approaches, and the rise of cyberattacks on manufacturing firms — and discuss the challenge of securing OT, including industrial control systems and other critical infrastructure devices and systems, using a zero trust approach. He’ll explain how the emerging technologies and methods for achieving zero trust can tie together legacy infrastructure; future software-defined networks; identity access; and the management methods, analytics and policy/rule enforcement necessary to secure connected IIoT ecosystems.

In the afternoon, Bill Joll, head of worldwide sales and corporate development, will lead a session, “Considerations for End-to-End Trust for Smart Cities.” His presentation will review some of the cybersecurity priorities required for Smart Cities innovations. Top considerations include the use of endpoint identity characteristics and a transport-layer architecture that enables noninteractive authentication, the enforcement of rules and policies for segmentation and segregation (including privileged access management), the cloaking of endpoints and network assets, and the ability to achieve all this in topology-independent environments including software-defined networks and software-defined perimeters. This ties nicely into the partnership we announced with NEC to integrate and deliver our identity-based cybersecurity for a broad range of applications, including Smart Cities, that we demonstrated last week at GovWare 2019 in Singapore.

BlackRidge sponsored an invitation-only VIP reception the evening before the symposium, which allows speakers, sponsors, symposium leadership, and members of the College of Computing and Informatics advisory board to network in an unstructured setting.

We’ll also be present in the exhibit hall (open 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.), so if you’re attending the symposium, be sure to stop by our table to say hi and enter our raffle for a $150 Amazon gift card.