Oakland County and Tech248 host free SANS cyber security training for Midwestern tech companies

Oakland County and Tech248™ – the county’s tech initiative – are hosting a free seminar for tech companies from across the Midwest to introduce them to SANS cyber security training in an effort to make their businesses more secure against cyber attacks.

The session is set for Feb. 11 at 10 a.m. and will be held in the Board of Commissioners Auditorium at 1200 N. Telegraph Road in Pontiac. Registrations will be accepted through Feb. 9 and can be made at AdvantageOakland.EVENTBRITE.com. There is no cost to attend but pre-registration is required.

“We are at the leading edge of technology,” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “Not only are we using it, we’re making it available to our companies at no charge. Our IT companies are doing amazing things that impact the world. You don’t have to go to Silicon Valley. Look in your own backyard. That’s what Tech248 is.”

The SANS Institute is recognized as a global leader in cyber security education and training. The seminar is aimed at C-level information technology and security professionals within a company, said Chris Burrows, Oakland County’s chief information security officer. The goal is to educate attendees about real and potential threats to their computer systems and to demonstrate to SANS that there is sufficient interest in Oakland County to offer courses here on a quarterly or annual basis.
Top security professionals from Michigan and the Midwest are expected to attend.

“We want people to understand you can get the training here in Oakland County instead traveling to Orlando or Las Vegas,” Burrows said.

Jeff McJunkin, a senior staff member at Counter Hack Challenges, is the keynote speaker. He will provide examples, tips and techniques that can enhance an organization’s cyber security defense, Burrows said. 

The SANS Institute was established in 1989 at a cooperative research and educational organization. Its programs reach more than 165,000 security professionals worldwide, ranging from network administrators to chief information security officers and include global corporations and universities.

According to its website, SANS is the most trusted and the largest source for information security training and security certification in the world. It also develops, maintains, and makes available at no cost, the largest collection of research documents about various aspects of information security, and it operates the Internet’s early warning system – the Internet Storm Center.

Oakland County has more than 2,000 tech companies – more than twice the number of any other Michigan county. The initiative encourages collaboration and innovation in the county’s burgeoning tech community. The county focus is helping tech companies attract, develop and retain talent.