City and Western Cyber Exchange launch cybersecurity initiative

The city of Colorado Springs and Western Cyber Exchange are launching a cyber-security initiative with sessions that aim to warn local businesses of the cyber thugs trolling the Internet stealing sensitive data.

The WCX Forum Initiative is  a series of sessions where business owners can exchange important information about cyber attacks that will help the entire community stave off the cyber offenders, organizers said.

The non-profit WCX is a consortium of business owners, information technology professionals and government representatives that have been promoting a new, grassroots approach to collective cybersecurity since 2010.

The WCX is modeled on the Information Sharing and Analysis Center Construct and is intentionally set up as a nonprofit so that it can straddle the information-sharing barriers that exist between government and industry, its founders said.

“Threats from cyberspace continue to escalate,” said Doug DePeppe, a founder of the WCX.  “The special risks to this community might be described as a ‘Digital Cold War threat’ to put it in a modern day context.  Yet, the threat is not cold, it’s very prevalent.  And, it’s not just the military.  The business community, both large and small, faces a similar threat that the national security facilities here face.”

The dates of Forum Initiative with the city are planned for mid-October.  Jesse James, city of Colorado Springs interim chief information officer will host the initial sessions. He said networks can be hardened if businesses have a greater understanding of the attacks that may be happening across town or in certain sectors.  The Waldo Canyon fire added another reminder of the reasons to be better prepared against threats to critical infrastructure, he said.

“There are many reasons why this Forum Initiative from the WCX makes sense,” James said.  “Improving situational awareness of cyber attacks benefits us all.”

More information about the Forum Initiative, including a sign-up page, may be found at the WCX website, www.wcyberx.org.