Washington, DC - The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, and the Texas Association of Business, today hosted a cybersecurity conference aimed at helping small and mid-size business owners develop, evaluate, and strengthen cybersecurity programs.

“A few years ago, cyberattacks against the government and corporations were on the margins of news stories, but now a day doesn't go by that we don't hear about a data breach or cyber-intrusion,” said Ann Beauchesne, senior vice president for National Security and Emergency Preparedness at the U.S. Chamber. “Through this conference and our cybersecurity awareness campaign, the Chamber is urging businesses of all sizes to adopt fundamental Internet security practices to reduce network weaknesses and make the price of successful hacking steep.”

The event brought together top experts from government, law enforcement, and the private sector to discuss how to navigate the cybersecurity framework released by the White House, give business owners tools and tips for strengthening their cybersecurity programs, and explore ways to partner with law enforcement before cyber incidents occur. It also featured a panel looking at cybersecurity in the financial services industry, where cybersecurity is increasingly becoming a top priority. 

“In our increasingly digital world, cybersecurity is a topic that is applicable to absolutely everyone. The U.S. and San Antonio Chambers are doing an outstanding job of spreading awareness on this critical topic,” said U.S. Representative Will Hurd (TX-23), a former cybersecurity entrepreneur and current chair of the House Subcommittee on Information Technology. “Most importantly, this conference is a great opportunity to showcase my hometown. With more cybersecurity professionals than any other place in the U.S. outside of the national capitol region, and with local assets like the 24th Air Force, NSA Texas and USAA, San Antonio is in the perfect position to continue its rise as the nation’s leader in cybersecurity solutions.”

“When we look at the scope of the threats from cyberspace – and at the determination of our adversaries – an important lesson is that we’re in this together,” said Suzanne Spaulding, under secretary for the National Protection and Programs Directorate at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). “Our government networks, like those in the private sector, are constantly probed for weaknesses. That’s why it’s imperative that we work together to increase our collective level of security and resilience. One of the best ways to do that is through our National Cybersecurity Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) at DHS, which plays a critical role as the key civilian information-sharing portal between the government and the private sector. ”

Held at the Embassy Suites San Antonio Riverwalk, the event featured speakers including Director of The University of Texas at San Antonio Center for Education and Research in Information and Infrastructure Assurance and Security Nicole Beebe, Ridge Global President Chris Furlow, Vice President and Chief Information Security and Privacy Officer of USAA Dave McDermitt, Citi Director and Global Head of Security Operations Center (SOC)Delfim Martins, FBI Special Agent Justin Allbritton, and National Institute of Standards and Technology Program Manager for the Computer Security Division Matt Barrett, among others.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.