Geopolitical Summit to focus on cybersecurity threats

Hacker typing on a laptop

With major tech companies like Sony, T-Mobile and Microsoft – as well as the White House and other government entities – facing unprecedented cyberattacks in recent years, the private information of millions of individuals is increasingly at risk, along with U.S. security and financial interests.

President Barack Obama has said cyber terrorism is one of the greatest threats to national security today.

Even CIA Director John Brennan has had his personal email hacked.

To explore these issues in depth, FIU will host its fifth Geopolitical Summit March 8 – convening thought leaders from government, business, academia and law to discuss policies and strategies to mitigate cyber threats and defend national security and financial interests.

“These attacks have become increasingly sophisticated and destructive,’’ said John Stack, founding dean of the Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs, which is hosting the event, with the support of the College of Business. “We are facing major threats to our national infrastructure and financial systems. Safeguarding these areas is one of the top challenges of our time.”

The Dark Side of the Web: Challenges to Security, Prosperity and Privacy will feature leading experts on cyber terrorism and national security, as well as emerging threats to business and health care and the protection of civil liberties against intrusive governmental policies.

Speakers include the former undersecretary of defense for policy, James Miller, and former assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense and America’s security affairs, Paul Stockton. Others include security specialists from Intel, Mount Sinai Medical Center and Jackson Health System and NPR National Security Correspondent Dina Temple-Raston.

FIU’s Brian Fonseca, the director of the Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy and Citizenship Studies, and Frank Mora, director of the Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center, are also on tap to speak, along with FIU professors from the colleges of law and business.

College of Business Senior Lecturer David Wernick will moderate a panel on cyber threats and enterprise – discussing the 2014 Sony Corp. hacking scandal during which the entertainment giant’s emails and financial information were spilled into the open. North Korea is widely believed to have launched the attack after the release of the satirical movie The Interview, which skewered North Korea leader Kim Jong-un.

“It’s a very interesting issue at the center of business and international affairs that shows the vulnerability of private companies to hostile cyber attacks from rogue nations,” said Wernick, who teaches international business and strategy classes.

The issue also impacts entrepreneurs and start-ups that are increasingly conceived from the get-go as “born global,” or transnational.

The summit will be held at the Green School’s Broad Auditorium, SIPA125, at Modesto A. Maidique Campus starting at 9 a.m. and will be broken up into three sessions:


For more information on the event, call 305-348-72166. To RSVP for one or all sessions, click here.