When Peter Mitchener joined the FBI 19 years ago, cyber security was not one of his responsibilities—or even a huge agency concern.
But the advancement of technology has created a more diverse and complicated set of threats that no one person can counter alone.
“Technology plays a role in everything we do, and our cyber footprint has grown accordingly,” said Mitchener, now the FBI’s senior national intelligence officer for cyber issues. “Today, it’s important to understand where our systems are connected.”
Michener was one of the keynote speakers at a two-day cyber security conference, “Cyber-Intrusion – A Conference of Experts,” co-hosted March 16-17 by William & Mary’s Raymond A. Mason School of Business and the university’s School of Law. Michener highlighted current trends in global cyber threats, forecasted new cyber developments and shared how the FBI helps organizations becoming more aware of issues related to cyber threats.
The event also included presentations, panel discussions and workshops for William & Mary business and law students, alumni and community guests. Representatives from the Mason School, the Law School and the College of Arts and Sciences participated in sessions that included efforts to understand the mind of a hacker and that explored the future of cybersecurity legislation.
William & Mary law student Taylor Treece, who graduates this spring, said, “It’s amazing to hear from true experts and professionals across the field to see how diverse cybersecurity has become, and how everyone—no matter what your practice, whether business or law—needs to know this information.”
The conference ended with closing remarks by Dean Davison Douglas of the Law School and Dean Lawrence Pulley of the Business School, followed by a networking reception where guests had the chance to mingle with the speakers and presenters.
“The conference here was better than anything else I’ve been to,” community guest William Hampton said. “These were true experts talking about real life threats. You can’t get this stuff from a textbook.”