NMU Cybersecurity Symposium Kickoff links students and the health care industry

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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - "A risk to the cyber infrastructure is a risk to people's physical health," says Keith Glendon, Worldwide Business Development and Strategy Leader at IBM Security.

You may be wondering how.

On Friday at Northern Michigan University's Northern Center, a Cybersecurity Health Care Summit and the NMU Cybersecurity Symposium Kickoff combined to show students the importance of cybersecurity.

"Healthcare, more and more, is dependent upon technologies that are dependent upon the internet. Everything from heart monitors, to centrifuges, to even blood pressure cuffs," says Glendon.

The trick to maintaining cyber integrity - introducing these concepts to the youth.

"Well, I think hackers will save the world. Whether a kid goes into cybersecurity or not, understanding how to think critically about problems, understanding how technology works," says Glendon. "I mean every kid has a phone in their pocket. Very few know how it actually works."

While the health care summit ran in one ballroom, next door students attended workshops and talks from lock-picking to web-hacking, and 'Capture the Flag.'

"We're looking at passwords and how they crypt it so hackers can't go on the internet and get your password and hack into your profiles and such," says Westwood High School junior Luke Mariuzza.

"I never really thought it would be a career path for me, but after doing this for a little bit I thought it's very interesting and possible," says Mariuzza.

Ten school districts were present on Friday. All of them are members of the Marshall Plan funded U.P. Cybersecurity Talent Consortium, made up of 18 local schools.

"This is just the beginning and we'll try to impact as many kids as we can to give them a look to see if this is something that they're interested in," says NICE Community Schools Superintendent, Bryan DeAugustine.

DeAugustine says Friday's event was merely a kickoff for exposing students to the world of cybersecurity, and hopefully is one of many.

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