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Cyber Talk Radio: Cybersecurity San Antonio

Bret Piatt, CTR Host and Amanda Keammerer, Deputy Director, CyberSecurity San Antonio if the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce - Week 105 of Cyber Talk Radio

Show Summary

This past Saturday, September 29, episode 105 of Cyber Talk Radio hit the air on 1200 WOAI and iHeartRadio streaming. I was joined by Amanda Keammerer of Cybersecurity San Antonio to discuss cybersecurity initiatives in San Antonio as well as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month which kicked off on October 1st.

Amanda is a San Antonio native that recently moved back from Washington D.C. to work in cybersecurity with the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce. How many Chambers of Commerce have Cybersecurity Councils? Not many. San Antonio definitely has a unique, collaborative community with lots of job opportunities in the growing cybersecurity industry.

In case you are not familiar, the San Antonio Chamber’s Cybersecurity Industry Council is composed of private-sector, public-sector, federal government, academic, and entrepreneurial members working in, and dedicated to, growing San Antonio’s cybersecurity industry. The Industry Council is the driving force behind Cybersecurity San Antonio and provides the strategic direction and guidance for the program’s initiatives. One of their main goals is to help make connections with businesses and organizations locally so there is increased awareness around the activities and great work going on in the cybersecurity industry. Mark Chamberlain, executive director, information security at USAA, is the executive chair of the Cybersecurity Council for the year and has helped with organizing and pushing the core focus areas: Global Engagement, Innovation and Economic Development, Education and Talent Development, Military and Government Affairs and Sustainability. Want to get involved? Reach out via the Contact Us form at www.cybersecuritysa.com.

October 1st marked the start of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, which is in its 15th year. Cybersecurity awareness is serious stuff that children and family need to learn about! Another cybersecurity event coming up is Texas Cyber Summit, October 12-14 featuring guest speaker, Rob Joyce from the National Security Agency (NSA). Shout out to the CyberTexas Foundation and their support for the cybersecurity community in San Antonio!

In the second half of the show, we dig into the core focus areas that Amanda mentioned at the beginning of the show. Here’s a quick breakdown of the focus areas and key initiatives that Cybersecurity San Antonio is working on to grow the local cybersecurity community and engage with the national and global communities.

Education and Talent Development: Developing a strong talent pipeline is key for growing the cybersecurity community in San Antonio. It’s important to start as early as the middle school level to begin training kids on cybersecurity and working their way to eventually getting their Security+ certification and more.The NSA in Texas has brought a internship program to Texas for high school students. By the time you graduate from high school (age 18), a student can have their security clearance and a junior security position with the NSA. How awesome is that? Also, another fun fact is that we have five Centers of Academic Excellence in San Antonio including San Antonio College, St. Philips, Our Lady of the Lake, Texas A&M San Antonio and University of Texas at San Antonio.

  • Global Engagement: What is happening in the cybersecurity ecosystems outside of the U.S.? The focus is to build culture and business connections with global markets that have common industry focus areas and characteristics. Those cities include Tel Aviv, Toronto, Mexico City and a few others. Starting these connections can help solve issues across borders on common things affecting cities. There is a great presentation hosted by the Atlantic Council with Congressman Hurd on Russia’s Cyber Operations in Ukraine and Beyond to check out here.
  • Innovation and Economic Development: Growing the tech and cybersecurity district in San Antonio can help attract new businesses and people to the city. A big shout out to Port San Antonio and all of the growth and innovation going on there. Did you know that the new Air Force One is being worked on in San Antonio? Our city is a huge contributor to National Security.
  • Military and Government Affairs: San Antonio is Military City from basic training in the Air Force, super skilled cybersecurity jobs, Army medical research and top level trauma hospital care. The military industry is so huge in San Antonio, there is a whole Military Affairs Council within the Chamber. Cyber and Intelligence missions are so important to San Antonio and National Security. It is important to continue to attract and retain talent in the city and continue to advocate for the military operations in San Antonio.

Be sure to check out the upcoming National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) event on December 3-4. NICE will be hosting its K-12 education conference in San Antonio and partnering with the Spurs to bring a Cyber Signing Day to life. The Cyber Signing Day will hype up students in cybersecurity, the local companies that have hired them and the educators that have trained and educated them. They are expecting an audience of several hundred people to cheer on these kids and their accomplishments!

Listen to the episode replay to learn more about Cybersecurity San Antonio, here or watch below.**

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