April 10, 2017


MARTINSVILLE, Va. – This is a threat we all face. Whether you are a business owner or casual online shopper, cybersecurity should be on your radar.


In a report from ComputerWorld.com, 90% of companies said their computers had been breached in the last year and 73% of Americans reported encountering some type of cybercrime.


With those scary statistics in mind, the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and New College Institute (NCI) are partnering together to offer a free lecture on cybersecurity. The lecture is titled “How Hackable Are You?” and will offer attendees important information on safeguarding online accounts as a consumer and as a business owner. The lecture is to be hosted at NCI (191 Fayette Street) on April 19, 2017, at noon.


The speaker, Darren Manners, Senior Security Engineer at Sycom Technologies, will examine how an organization, business, or individual may be attacked using social engineering techniques. Darren will discuss how simply clicking on a link can bring down you or your business and what you can do to protect yourself and your customers.


Manners is one of the industry's leading security engineers. He has over 20 years of experience in the Information Security field, with nearly ten years as naval intelligence communication interceptor and analyst. Darren holds many industry-leading certifications.


Valerie Harper, EDC’s Director of Small Business Division, says that many local small business owners have encountered various types of cybersecurity threats. She added that it is important to keep in mind that these threats can come from a number of different sources. “For businesses, the breach may not necessarily come from something the owner did or did not do. Sometimes it could be an employee who accidentally clicks on a wrong link and exposes the company to a cyber-threat,” shared Harper. For this reason, business owners may also see benefits in sending their employees to this workshop.


Michael Palmer, NCI’s IT Manager, noted that hacks are becoming more and more sophisticated. “Hackers utilize techniques in social engineering, which is a process of learning a person’s habits and tendencies so that vulnerabilities can be identified.”

Palmer said that a person’s password is often related to something personal to that individual. Knowing the name of an individual’s child or spouse, for example, may give a hacker insight as to what your password may be.


“Even though the cyber world can be scary, it’s the way of our world today. So, it is necessary for everyone to be informed,” shared Steve Keyser, NCI’s Coordinator of Educational & Community Engagement.


Lunch will be provided for attendees of the lecture. RSVP’s are requested. To RSVP online, please visit www.YesMartinsville.com/Events. For more information, contact Valerie Harper at (276) 403-5940 or Steve Keyser at (276) 403-5612.