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The Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, a partnership between the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and the Wisconsin Cyber Threat Response Alliance (WICTRA) and based on the University’s Oshkosh campus, will host an inaugural cybersecurity conference next month.

The high-value training and networking experience is Sept. 12-13 and is open to cybersecurity and administrative leaders throughout northeast Wisconsin and beyond. It will be held at Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, inside the Culver Family Welcome Center, 625 Pearl St., Oshkosh.

“As we become an ever-increasingly digital society, the need for competent cybersecurity professionals and the complexity of the issues they deal with are growing exponentially,” said Michael Patton, UW Oshkosh information systems lecturer and the center director.

Michael Patton

“The bad guys are organized and are sharing information; this event will be an opportunity for attendees to grow, expand and solidify their collaborative networks and is a great opportunity to gain a smaller version of the experience of a national conference.”

The two-day event will include a keynote address, cyber and range exercises, a panel discussion on hiring and retaining talent and more. Its aim is to offer existing cybersecurity professionals an opportunity to network and practice their skills in a controlled environment, educate executives on cybersecurity issues they will encounter in the near future, and nurture cybersecurity managers in how to be the bridge between the cybersecurity technologists and executives.

They keynote speaker is Arturo Perez-Reyes, the lead cyber strategist at Newfront, a brokerage transforming insurance with technology and people-centered innovation. Perez-Reyes has worked for more than 20 years as a risk consultant and broker helping firms identify, quantify and transfer the liability and losses from technology, professional services, value chains, intellectual property, regulatory compliance, privacy and security. He’s also lectured on ecommerce, communication, insurance, sales and green business for more than 30 years.

The cybersecurity center launched in late 2021. The collaborative effort between UWO and the Madison-based nonprofit information technology and services organization WICTRA features a live-fire cyber range where users can experience real-world cyber threats in a controlled, educational environment. The center also includes classrooms, a lab and a small data center. Services are free to UWO students and programming is offered for the greater Oshkosh community.

Conference registration is now open. Student admission is $50 and general admission is $149. Student scholarships to offset the $50 registration fee may be available on a first come, first serve basis.

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