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Cyber Security Symposium to address information safety in public, private sectors
By Jennifer Berghom, Public Affairs Representative
Posted: 02/27/2013
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The University of Texas-Pan American is hosting its second Rio Grande Valley Spring Cyber Security Symposium to address security issues in the public and private sectors.


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This season's symposium, "Information Security in the Public and Private Sectors," will be held from 6:30-8 p.m. Wednesday, March 6 in the Engineering Auditorium, Room 1.300. The event is free and open to the public.

The keynote speakers are Eric Cowperthwaite, chief information security officer of Providence Health & Services, and Tony Coulson, director of the California State University San Bernardino (CSUSB) Cyber Security Center.

As the director of the CSUSB Cyber Security Center, Coulson has worked with industry and the government to map out opportunities for students and cyber security strategies for the country. He operates multiple programs that provide specialized skills to the Federal government as well as the U.S. Department of Defense. He is also one of the founders of Cyberwatch West, a national Advanced Technology Education Center focusing on cyber security in the western United States.

Under Coulson’s leadership, CSUSB has been recognized as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance education. This recognition, given to only 110 universities, opened the door for grants, scholarships, and job opportunities for CSUSB students. In 2008, he was awarded the Innovative Excellence Award in Teaching, Learning and Technology at the International Conference of Teaching and Learning.

Cowperthwaite has more than 25 years experience as a security practitioner and leader in both civilian and military settings. He is a 2008 Computerworld Premier 100 IT Leaders honoree. As the system director and chief information security officer of Providence Health and Services — headquartered in Renton, Wash. with 32 hospitals and more than 60,000 employees — he is responsible for providing strategic and operational leadership in the management and delivery of enterprise security.

Previously, he was the security and privacy officer for Medi-Cal, the state of California's Title XIX Medicaid insurance program. He has been asked to speak on security topics by a variety of organizations, including CSO Magazine, the Society for Information Management, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Each semester, the RGV Cyber Security Symposium brings national experts to the Valley to discuss critical issues in information assurance and security. With stories about governments, businesses and other organizations having their computer network systems hacked making headlines all over the world, having experts come to campus to discuss information security is timely as well as vital to ensuring public and private institutions in the Valley know how to keep their information safe, event organizers said.

For special accommodations, contact Oscar Margain at (956) 665-8088 or oamargain@utpa.edu.