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THE IDENTITY FRAUD INSTITUTE AT HODGES University is just over 2½ years old, yet its impact is already being felt on a national level.

Director Carrie Kerskie is aiming for even more influence with the school’s inaugural Organizational Privacy Summit to be held at the Hilton Naples from April 30 through May 2.

The upcoming summit features a who’s who of national names in the cybersecurity realm, including keynote speaker Brian Krebs, a longtime Washington Post investigative reporter-turned cyber-detective. He’s earned international acclaim (and scrutiny from those he’s vanquished) for unearthing myriad nefarious activities on the dark web and shedding light on the many cybercentric issues of the day on his blog, KrebsOnSecurity.com. Mr. Krebs is credited with breaking the story on the Target data breach that affected as many as 40 million credit card accounts in late 2013.



“He has made it his passion to infiltrate the dark web,” Ms. Kerskie said of her keynote speaker’s drive. “He bridges the gap between cybersecurity and the victim’s perspective.”

The Organizational Privacy Summit’s purpose is to arm C-level executives and managers of risk, compliance, governance, cybersecurity, human resources, IT and networks with the tools they need to avoid common occurrences of data breach within their walls.



“The goal is to bring the human factor back into the conversation,” Ms. Kerskie said. “Everyone thinks it’s all about cybersecurity and throwing tech at the problem. But if you look at (many) past data breaches, there was a human element to it. Someone clicked on a link … there was a human factor.”

The summit will host a variety of nationally known cybersecurity experts, covering topics from current threats and opportunities to mitigating these threats from all perspectives.

“A lot of data breaches have been caused by the actions of organizations and their employees,” Ms. Kerskie said. “That’s why we created this summit.”



From the Identity Fraud Institute’s perspective, Ms. Kerskie says its focus is twofold: victim assistance and education. In just a couple of years, the institute has helped a number of victims navigate through nasty cases of identity theft, fraudulent transactions or data breaches.

Through each case, the institute’s knowledge of common cyber issues increases. Ms. Kerskie has identified several key patterns that informed her speaker selection for the summit.

“There are certain policies that industries are rolling out, thinking people will buy into them right away,” she said. “If people don’t understand the why, they won’t take advantage of it … there’s a percentage of the population that doesn’t want any part of (online accounts). Some don’t even own a computer.”

Ms. Kerskie cited two-factor authentication as just one of many mainstream examples of a great security addition — and many people don’t understand how it helps.

“People don’t know what it is. These companies are trying to help, but they need to explain the ‘why.’”

The International Association of Privacy Professionals is one of the largest and most comprehensive global information privacy communities. It acts as a resource for those who want to develop and advance their careers by helping their organizations successfully manage these risks and protect their data. Each year the IAPP provides a list of industry-approved events for Continuing Personal Education credits. In 2018 there have been approved events in New York, London, San Francisco and Toronto, among other major destinations.

The summit in Naples made the list, too.

“For us to be able to get our event approved … was phenomenal,” Ms. Kerskie said of the credibility booster. “They are internationally known for their certification program. We were very pleased, to say the least.”

“The way Ms. Kerskie has designed the summit, to target business people and managers … I think that’s great,” said Donald Rebovich, Ph.D. and professor at Utica College. He leads the Center for Identity Management and Information Protection at Utica and is slated to speak at the summit about data breaches and unintentional insider threats.

“I’ll talk about some of the big breaches that have taken place recently that were reported in the media,” Dr. Rebovich said. “Some of these we know how the breach occurred, but there are others that we don’t, and others we don’t know how many people have their sensitive information exposed.”

Ms. Kerskie cited several other prominent topics to be covered, including the little-known cyber liability insurance, which is designed to protect businesses from risks relating to information technology activities and infrastructure.

“There’s a big mystique around it. What does it do, what does it cover?” she said.

The goal is to have around 100 business professionals attend the summit, in a more intimate setting where the executives will have the chance to interact with some of the authorities in cybersecurity.

Underlying each speaker, talking point and the event itself is the ultimate goal of simply helping people avoid trapping themselves into cyber-related issues.

“It’s more than just tech, cybersecurity, legal compliance; you have to look at it from a holistic perspective,” Ms. Kerskie said of the multi-faceted issues companies face on a daily basis. “What are the people you serve facing? If they do become a victim, what are your procedures? When someone is a victim and they’re getting stonewalled by the businesses that enabled the bad guy to do what they do … we’re trying to help them.” ¦

>> What: The Inaugural Organizational Privacy Summit, hosted by the Identity Fraud Institute at Hodges University, sponsored by CenturyLink

>> Where: Hilton Naples, 5111 Tamiami Trail N.

>> When: Monday, April 30 – Wednesday, May 2

>> Cost: Regular registration: $475 per person (through April 15), late registration: $500 per person (after April 15), student/gov’t/ military/NFP: $300 per person

>> Registration and info: www.organizationalprivacysummit.com

>> Information about the Identity Fraud Institute and its education events can be found at www.hodges.edu/identity

Organizational Privacy Summit event sessions

>> Cyber Insurance: Coverages, Regulatory Developments and Claims/Litigation Trends (with Aarti Soni, senior vice president, Marsh & McLennan)

>> Cybersecurity for the Rest of Us (with Jeff Alluri, vice president of consulting, Element Technologies, LLC)

>> Cybersecurity Threats Including the Dark Web (with John Benkert, CPR Tools Inc. and Greg Scasny, Cybersecurity Defense Solutions, Inc.)

>> Data Breaches Today & The Unintentional Insider Threat (with Dr. Donald Rebovich, Center for Identity Management and Information Protection (CIMIP), Utica College and Professor Leslie R. Corbo, Utica College)

>> How Identity Theft Disrupts the Security versus Convenience Mindset (with Eva Velasquez, CEO, Identity Theft Resource Center)

>> Targeting ID Thieves, A Case Study (with R. Sean McCleskey, J.D. director of organizational education and measurement, Center for Identity, University of Texas)

>> Third Certainty: Cyber Threats and the C-Suite (with Adam K. Levin, chairman and founder of CyberScout)

>> Cybersecurity – Best Practices and Proactive Strategies to Mitigate Threats (with R. David Mahon, chief security officer, CenturyLink Inc.)

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