SAN ANTONIO – Cybersecurity threats are happening all of the time on local and national fronts.
San Antonio’s Cybersecurity Council works to help keep local businesses safe and prosperous.
Jeff Fair is the vice president of cybersecurity and economic development, an organization under the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce.
“We’ve had a few smaller municipalities sit with ransomware attacks as well as school districts, and it’s been disruptive,” Fair said.
Bret Piatt has worked in the cybersecurity field for more than 20 years and knows firsthand how criminals take advantage of people across our community.
“Municipal governments, counties and cities, school districts, they’re all targets for criminals,” Piatt, the President and Chief Executive Officer of CyberFortress said.
Protection and prevention from cyber threats are essential missions for the council.
“In companies in San Antonio, it’s happening every single day. So we’ve got an FBI cyber field office here. NSA, Texas is in San Antonio. They get phone calls from business owners and folks all the time about cyber attacks,” Piatt said.
It’s not just about protecting the localities, the local businesses and the school districts in the city. The council works to improve cyberspace for small businesses, too.
“The Cybersecurity Council had several initiatives this year last year. And one of them was how do we help small businesses protect themselves.” Fair said.
The work also ensures San Antonio has the proper infrastructure for our future.
Local universities are regarded for their commitment to empowering the next generation of cybersecurity professionals. And as a military city, the demand for employees in the carer field is paramount.
“Because we have a military presence [in the city], [and] because we have large companies present, we have different universities here in our region that have top-notch cybersecurity programs, seven of which have been recognized by the National Security Agency,” Fair said.
The council, formed in 2012, sees a bright future in San Antonio.
“I think you’re going to see cybersecurity working with a lot of our big sectors [around] aerospace, health and biotech [and] commercial space,” Fair said. “You’re going to have a lot of these industries really depending on San Antonio throughout Texas, in our region, for their cybersecurity foundation.”
For Piatt, he has some quick tips for anyone out there looking to avoid cybersecurity risks.
“Update your devices,” he said. “Don’t be a launchpad for hackers.”