DePaul University College of Business > About > Centers & Institutes > Arditti Center for Risk Management > Cyber Risk Conference

Cyber Risk Conference

Cyber risk speaker

“Sharing information is extremely helpful, but some large companies are now assuming that truly determined hackers cannot be kept out. So they are putting more emphasis on building resilience—the ability to bounce back fast in the event of a breach. It is essential to have well-conceived recovery plan to test it regularly, says Ed Powers of Deloitte, a consulting firm. In financial services, where a problem at one company could easily trigger a system-wide crisis, regulators are urging banks and other firms to consider resilience across markets.”
—From the Cyber Security Special Report—Defending the Digital Frontier, The Economist, July 12, 2014

In collaboration with the College of Computing and Digital Media and the College of Law, DePaul University's Arditti Center for Risk Management is proud to have presented an annual conference on Cyber Risk:

The Speed of Change: Threat, Compliance, and Protection
The Third Annual Cyber Risk Conference Nov. 29, 2016.

Cyber security issues are not going away. The question facing businesses and institutions today is not if they will get hacked, but when? With the list of companies that have been attacked growing daily, the needs of the industry are beyond simple solutions like "don't click on links in emails."

DePaul's Cyber Risk Conference strives to address those growing concerns through a forum of expert panelists, audience discussion with concrete solutions, and keynote speakers who are the leading figures in cyber security today.

The cyber security landscape is rapidly changing in a dynamic interplay of threat, compliance, and protection. Just as we figure out how to address one risk, a new one takes its place. There is no such thing as a static state in cyber risk.

New threats—both individual and state-sponsored—bring new compliance and protection measures in an accelerating cycle of change. 

As we enter an increasingly connected world, the Internet of Things has become a reality. New technologies bring new vulnerabilities. With these new vulnerabilities come new regulations and compliance issues, as well as a race to proactively protect users. 

Behavior is also constantly shifting. A generation has now grown up completely at home with these new technologies and thus has a very different perspective towards privacy and protection.

These are just a few of the topics we discussed in our three panels addressing the Speed of Change in Threat, Compliance, and Protection. 

About our previous conferences:

A New Manhattan Project: Forging a Proactive Public-Private Collaboration in Cyber Security
The Second Annual Cyber Risk Conference on Dec. 2, 2015


“… We've got to get people that are at the C-suite boardroom level [and the] same position in the federal government, who understand enough about cyber security and enough about business so they can make the tough business tradeoffs that have to be made in order to make us more secure.”
--Major General Brett Williams, On Meet the Press, July 12

In an ideal world, what would a large-scale collaboration between public institutions and private companies look like? In a realistic world, what kinds of collaboration are actually achievable? How does collaboration work (or not work) now? How do we navigate the difference between compliance and protection? How can greater collaboration shift us more towards the latter than the former?

Our second annual cyber risk conference addressed these issues through three panels and a keynote speaker.​

Keynote Speaker

Brett Williams, Major General USAF (retired)

Former Director of Operations, U. S. Cyber Command (2012-2014)

President of Operations and Training at IronNet Cybersecurity

Brett Turnage Williams is a recognized expert in cyberspace security. He is a sought-after speaker for his ability to put the complex technical aspects of cyber into language that can be understood by senior executives who must integrate cyber security within the larger context of business operations. As an Air Force major general, Williams provided several keynote speeches and served as an expert panelist on cyber security in a variety of large DoD and federal government events.

Having retired after 33 years of service, Williams is bringing his experience to the private sector with a particular focus on strengthening our nation’s ability to protect critical infrastructure from malicious cyber attacks. Williams’s final active duty assignment (2012–2014) was as the director of operations (J3) at U.S. Cyber Command where he was responsible for worldwide, full-spectrum cyberspace operations in support of national strategic objectives. In addition, he was directly responsible for the operations and defense of DoD networks. Williams also served as the director of communications (J6) for U.S. Pacific Command (2009–2011). Prior to becoming a "cyber warrior," Williams served in a wide variety of command, operational and staff positions as a fighter pilot flying the F-15C.

Williams is a graduate of Duke University with a BS in Computer Science. In addition, he holds an MA in Business Administration/Management from Webster University, an MA in National Security and Strategy Studies from the U.S. Army War College, and an MA in Airpower Art and Science from the Air Force School of Advanced Airpower Studies.

Williams is married to the former Marianne Tango from Washington, NJ. Marianne is also a Duke graduate as well as a retired Air Force officer. They have two children, Mikaela and Sean Michael.​

After the Breach
The Inaugural Cyber Risk Conference on Dec. 2, 2014


With the list of companies that have been attacked growing daily, the needs and questions of the industry are beyond simple solutions like "don't click on links in emails." The conference began with a demonstration of an actual breach through a live-hacking of a phone. Recognizing that a focus solely on prevention is short sighted, our three expert panels then followed through the three phases of breach response, providing concrete answers and discussion that attendees could take with them and apply to their own businesses.​


7:45 a.m. Registration

8:15 a.m.         Welcoming Remarks—After the Breach

Welcoming Remarks from our conference chairs and a demonstration of live hacking by Andrew Hoog of NowSecure.

9:00 a.m.         Panel: Discovery (Moderator: Sapient Global Markets)

How do you know you've been hacked? What should you, as an institution, do immediately once you've discovered your system has been compromised? Feature panelists include:
Eric Brelsford; FBI Special Agent, Cyber-Crime Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Liisa Thomas; Partner and Chair - Privacy and Data Security Practice, Winston & Strawn LLP
Don Ulsch; Managing Director, Cybercrime and Breach Response, PwC
Arlene Yetnikoff, Director of Information Security, DePaul University

10:30 a.m.       Break


10:45 a.m.       Panel: Disclosure (Moderator: Sapient Global Markets)

After the breach has been securely neutralized, what should your company do first to begin the process of disclosure and repair? What are effective strategies and business continuity plans for dealing with the reputational risk and renewing customer confidence? What are your legal responsibilities for notifying customers?  Feature panelists include:
Deborah L Gersh; Partner, Ropes & Gray
David M. Saltz, Senior Vice President & Partner, FleishmanHillard
David M. Standish, Director, Complex Claims (Cyber/Tech/Media), AIG
Chris Sutherland, Ph.D., U.S. Chief Information Security Officer Global Information Technology Risk Management, BMO Financial Group

12:00 p.m.       Networking Lunch

A buffet lunch will be provided, with opportunities for networking.

12:45 p.m.       Keynote Speaker: Peter W. Singer

Peter W. Singer will give a presentation, followed by time for questions and discussion.

2:15 p.m.            Break


2:30 p.m.         Panel: Resilience

Finally, now that your company has successfully neutralized the breach and disclosed it to the public, what are some best practices for preventing an attack from happening again and repairing the damage done? How do you move forward? Feature panelists include:

Randy Armknecht; Associate Director, IT Consulting, Protiviti
E. Larry Lidz; Assistant Vice President, Information Security & Risk Management, CNA Insurance
Steve Wernikoff, Federal Trade Commission
Kevin P. Wright; Director, PwC

4:00 p.m.         Reception

Keynote Speaker

Peter W. Singer

Peter W. Singer is Strategist and Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation, founder of NeoLuddite, a technology advisory firm, the author of multiple award winning books, and a contributing editor at Popular Science magazine. He has been named by the Smithsonian Institution-National Portrait Gallery as one of the 100 "leading innovators in the nation," by Defense News as one of the 100 most influential people in defense issues, and by Foreign Policy Magazine to their Top 100 Global Thinkers List, of the people whose ideas most influenced the world that year.

Dr. Singer is considered one of the world's leading experts on changes in 21st century warfare. He has consulted for the US Military, Defense Intelligence Agency, and FBI, as well as advised a wide-range of entertainment programs, including for Warner Brothers, Dreamworks, Universal, HBO, Discovery, History Channel, and the video game series Call of Duty, the best-selling entertainment project in history. He served as coordinator of the Obama-08 campaign's defense policy task force and was named by the President to the US Military's Transformation Advisory Group. He has provided commentary on military affairs for nearly every major TV and radio outlet, including ABC-Nightline, Al Jazeera, BBC, CBS-60 Minutes, CNN, FOX, NPR, and the NBC Today Show.

In addition to his work on conflict issues, Singer is a member of the US State Department's Advisory Committee on International Communications and Information Policy. He has been quoted in every major U.S. newspaper and news magazine and delivered speeches at a range of venues including the U.S. Congress, South by Southwest, The Festival of Dangerous Ideas, TED, the royal court of the UAE and over 75 universities around the world. In the entertainment sector, he has received awards/support from the Tribeca Film Institute, Sloan Filmmakers Fund, Film Independent, and FAST Track at the L.A. Film Festival.

Prior to his current position, Dr. Singer was the founding Director of the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence at the Brookings Institution. He was the youngest scholar named Senior Fellow in Brookings' 98-year history. Prior to that, he was the founding Director of the Project on U.S. Policy Towards the Islamic World at Brookings, where he was the organizer of the U.S.-Islamic World Forum, a global leaders conference. He has also worked for the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard, the Balkans Task Force in the U.S. Department of Defense, and the International Peace Academy. Singer received his Ph.D. in Government from Harvard University and a BA from the Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.

Singer’s most recent book Cybersecurity and Cyberwar: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press) is structured around answering the key questions we all face in the cyber age (how it all works, why it all matters, and what we can do?). It was described by the Chairman of Google as "an essential read" and by the former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO as "the most approachable and readable book ever written on the cyber world." The book has been added to the US Navy and US Army professional reading lists and featured at venues like the Microsoft CEO Summit and South by Southwest festival.​