SC Governor Henry McMaster

McMaster to highlight South Coast Cyber Summit 

Inaugural event to feature national cybersecurity experts 

 From staff reports 

Gov. Henry McMaster will be in Beaufort on Monday, when he’ll be the keynote speaker on Day 1 of the inaugural South Coast Cyber Summit. 

The Cyber Summit, being held Monday and Tuesday at Tabby Place at 913 Port Republic Street, is presented by the South Coast Cyber Center and will feature a number of prominent experts in cybersecurity, one of the fastest growing career fields in the United States. 

The event is free but registration is limited. 

Retired Lt. Gen. Dan O’Donohue, now senior vice president of Owl Cyber Defense based in Columbia, Md., will be the keynote speaker on March 8. Other speakers include John LaCour, founder and chief technology officer of PhishLabs, a cyber threat intelligence company; Mary Galligan, managing director in cyber practice for Deloitte; Dean Bushey, director of Cyber Security Education at USC Beaufort; and Shankar Banik, chairman of Cyber and Computer Sciences at The Citadel. 

Topics at the two-day summit will range from cyber crime and phishing threats to building a cybersecurity ecosystem in the Lowcountry. 

Beaufort Mayor Stephen Murray said the benefits of the Cyber Summit for the City of Beaufort were really two-fold. 

“Our economy is not diverse,” he said. “As we’ve grown here, we’ve driven up the cost of living, and we haven’t really created a lot of viable economic opportunity. But this is a chance to do that. We’re going to be a place where cyber security and defense can really thrive.” 

Murray said Beaufort wasn’t the first to take this path in the region – Augusta and Aiken were a little ahead. But at the same time, Murray said, Beaufort’s approach put it ahead. 

“Cyber security is going to be as ubiquitous as education or engineering among college programs,” he said. “Also, from a tourism standpoint, hosting a summit and bringing professionals from all over the country plays into Beaufort’s goals of being a destination. Rather than dentists, why not have those that work in the cybersecurity or cyberdefense fields.”

The Cyber Summit is the latest initiative of the South Coast Cyber Center, which was launched in 2019 as a collaborative including the City of Beaufort, Beaufort County, USC Beaufort, the Technical College of the Lowcountry, the Beaufort Digital Corridor, and the Beaufort County Economic Development Corporation. Its mission is to establish the educational infrastructure needed to groom a potential cybersecurity workforce, including those exiting the military. Cybersecurity experts are in great demand throughout the country, and there is not enough workforce to fill that demand.

“The world is moving extraordinarily fast, and cybersecurity is something we are dealing with in all our organizations,” Murray said. “We’ve got a whole host of nationally recognized speakers who will be here to help people network and learn more about this critical issue.”

More details on the event, including the agenda and speakers, can be found at southcoastcybersummit.com.

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