Cybersecurity experts will present security ideas to Ohio State staff in three day-long sessions at the Ohio Union. The first was Thursday. Additional sessions will be held Sept. 26 and Oct. 9. Credit: Cameron Thompson | For The Lantern

Leading cybersecurity experts will come together at Ohio State for three days this fall to discuss ways to improve cybersecurity in the community.

The annual event, called Cybersecurity Days began Thursday with a community forum featuring research and compliance, management and technology. An application security training course will be given Sept. 26. The final day, Oct. 9, will include a system security training course. All events will be held at the performance hall in the Ohio Union.

Session topics ranged from information on how to protect student aid, given by Director of cybersecurity and IT GRC Programs at Educause, Joanna Grama, to “Cybersecurity for you,” given by Ohio State Security Analyst, Becky Mayse.

Mayse said all students, not just IT students, should come and seize the opportunity to learn more.

“Our lives are going to be continually impacted by cybersecurity risks and this is about how students can protect themselves as students every day in their life,” Mayse said.

Angela D. Davis, program manager at the Office of Distance Education and eLearning, said expanding the event from what used to be one day to three allows students to learn even more. In previous years, having one day forced students to choose between a number of topics, when they wanted to participate in more.

Davis said the longer event allows for a more customized opportunity for participants.

“You can experience every aspect of cybersecurity and not just what is limited in one day, like picking and/or choosing two options,” Davis said.

Mayse cites the Equifax data breach as another reason why cybersecurity is so vital. Approximately 143 million United States-based users had their personal information compromised this year. Cyber attackers exploited a vulnerability on Equifax’s website to steal names, Social Security numbers, birthdates, addresses and driver’s license numbers, according to Equifax’s website.

The Equifax incident should be a lesson to students to protect the privacy of their own information, especially student loan data, Mayse said.

“You, as a student, would likely be responsible for the debt or the bill that was not paid because someone else stole your financial aid,” she said.