TROY — The issue of cybersecurity has become a hot topic in the news, most recently making headlines when the Defense Science Board released a study earlier this year stating that the U.S. Department of Defense is ill prepared to defend against sophisticated international cyber attacks.

The U.S. government is not the only group at risk. Every day, companies’ trade secrets and other confidential data may be compromised by hackers. And these threats are becoming more prevalent and alarming. According to Gordon Snow, assistant director of the FBI’s Cyber Division, the U.S. lost an estimated $400 billion in intellectual property to global cyber thieves in 2011 alone.

Companies interested in protecting their trade secrets and intellectual property are invited to join Automation Alley, Michigan’s largest technology business association, for “Cybersecurity and Industrial Espionage: Assessing Your Global Risks and Threats,” March 18 at Automation Alley Headquarters in Troy.

“This conference is designed to create awareness among Southeast Michigan companies about cybersecurity threats. Many companies are needlessly putting themselves at risk,” said Automation Alley Executive Director Ken Rogers. “It’s critical that companies be informed of the dangers that exist and the precautions they can take to keep their information safe and protected.”

The conference will be moderated by Matt Roush, editor of the WWJ Technology Report. Guest speakers include Special Agents Thomas Rankin and Chris Bartolo of the FBI. U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, will keynote the event.

Rep. Rogers is a nationally renowned expert on cybersecurity issues and recently reintroduced a cybersecurity bill in Washington which focuses on better sharing of information among companies and the government. At the event, Rogers will focus on the current and future threats global cyber thieves pose to U.S. companies worldwide and what organizations can do to protect their computer networks from being hacked by other nations or business competitors around the world. 

In addition, the conference will feature case studies of companies whose networks have been breached. Company executives will discuss what safeguards were implemented to mitigate future risks of espionage.

Attendees will also hear from solutions providers at Guidance Software, High Bit Security, LLC, and RazorThreat. These companies will share their firsthand insights into detecting intrusions and accessing potential network threats. The conference will conclude with a Q-and-A period.

Due to extra speakers, please note that this event has been extended and will run from noon to 4:30 p.m.

The cost for members is $20 with pre-registration or $30 at the door. The cost for non-members is $40 with pre-registration or $50 at the door. Pre-registration closes March 14 at close of business.

Automation Alley Headquarters is located at 2675 Bellingham in Troy. For more information or to register, contact the Automation Alley Resource Center at 800-427-5100 or or visit


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