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Press Release

Cybersecurity Roundtables at ISU and Drake University: Business Leaders Hear From Subject Matter Experts

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – Today the United States Attorneys for the Northern and Southern Districts of Iowa co-hosted with Iowa State University (ISU) and Drake University intellectual property and cybersecurity roundtables on both campuses.  Two prominent subject matter experts from the Department of Justice (DOJ) provided their assessments of the cyber threats confronting American business interests and national security.

The goal of the roundtables was to provide informative briefings and discussion as to the nature of the cyber threat posed to businesses today and to provide information concerning the law enforcement response to actual or potential cyber breaches in the future.  By hosting these roundtables, the United States Attorneys and the FBI hope to open and strengthen the lines of communication between the private sector and government that would be vital to an effective response to potential threat or attack. 

United States Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa, Kevin W. Techau, stated, “Today’s program provided high level FBI and DOJ briefings on the  cybercrime dynamics that Iowa based companies face in 2016 and beyond. Combatting cybersecurity threats is a top priority for the Department of Justice. To effectively fight cybercrime it is important to build awareness and plan in advance of an event. Collaboration between federal government agencies and the private sector is vital to success.”

“We are pleased to be part of this very timely and important discussion,” stated Southern District of Iowa Acting U.S. Attorney Kevin VanderSchel.  “The risks to individual companies and industries are profound due to the ongoing attempts to steal trade secrets, especially through computer intrusion, and we want Iowa businesses to know that the FBI and the Department of Justice stand ready to assist.”

The ISU roundtable was designed to target businesses involved in agriculture, ag bioscience, biotech and bio renewables and addressed such matters as intellectual property/trade secrets theft and cyber security issues. The Drake University roundtable focused on financial services companies, banks, and manufacturing/tech related companies addressing intellectual property and cybersecurity issues. 

Assistant Attorney General (AAG) for National Security, John P. Carlin, spoke to Iowa’s business leaders attending the ISU roundtable about current threats and what his division is doing to identify, prevent, and prosecute suspected criminal activity.  Carlin serves as the Department of Justice’s top national security attorney overseeing nearly 400 employees responsible for protecting the country against international and domestic terrorism, espionage, cyber, and other national security threats.

Joining AAG Carlin during the keynote address was FBI Deputy Assistant Director of the Cyber Crime Division, Eric Sporre.  Spore offered the FBI’s threat assessment.  Sporre is responsible for managing all operations sections in the FBI Cyber Division.

The media attending the ISU roundtable joined Carlin, Sporre, and both U.S. Attorneys in a tour of the Bio-Renewables Complex, which serves as home for the university's top-ranked department of agricultural and Biosystems engineering (ABE).

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Updated March 31, 2016