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DC CyberWeek wants everyone to know how to keep data safe

DC Cyber Week is set for Oct. 16-20. The organizers at CyberScoop want to expand the conversation from Capitol Hill to the kitchen table.

DC Cyber Week will run from 10/16 - 10/20. (Photo via Facebook)

With news of a major breach at Equifax in the headlines, planning for DC CyberWeek seems particularly timely.

To be fair, CyberScoop, part of the D.C.–based tech media company Scoop News Group, planned for the mid-October affair because October is National Cyber Security Awareness month. However, with a data breach that’s impacted potentially 143 million consumers, Greg Otto, Managing Editor for CyberScoop, sees how the fallout emphasizes the urgency of their cause.

“We put too much faith in institutions that they’re protecting our information,” Otto explained. “We’re going to come to a point where just as a citizen in America, as a citizen online, you’re going to need to understand how these systems work.”

Understanding how these systems work doesn’t necessarily mean running out to grab a graduate degree. Gaining basic knowledge in cyber security can mean simple things like brushing up on password management, understanding if that https:// site is actually secure. There’s also knowledge to be gained at the free week of events during DC CyberWeek.

From October 16-20, DC CyberWeek will host talks, panels, receptions and even a startup pitch competition hosted by Eastern Foundry.

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“We want to bring people together in order to figure out some way so that stuff doesn’t happen as frequently as it is right now,” Otto explained.

While that goal may seem broad, Otto and the CyberScoop team believe that their success hinges on their ability to bring people together and form sustainable relationships in the cybersecurity community.

“Maybe a private sector person meets someone body that works in Capitol Hill that they can talk about data breach laws,” Otto suggested, “and conversation that they had at DC CyberWeek ends up becoming part of some legislature that makes data legislation laws better for the entire country.”

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But it’s not only about transferring knowledge to the halls of power. As more Americans put their information online, the responsibility of citizens to understand cybersecurity increases.

“I think defense security conversations need to happen everywhere, just like policy conversation happens in homes, in coffee shops and other places across the country,” said Otto.

To help facilitate that sense of community on the local level, CyberScoop choose to make sure the events throughout the week remained free of charge.

“We really care about this community and getting people involved in this community in every aspect possible,” he said.

To that end, CyberScoop is also hosting an open house all day on Tues., Sept. 19. Details here.


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