Chris Rodriguez, the state director of the Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, believes securing our computers against terrorism may be almost as important as securing our borders. And businesses should know they are on the front lines of the cyber war, as executives at Sony Pictures learned all too well last year.

“In today’s digital age, all businesses that rely on technology are at risk of malicious cyber activity,” Rodriguez says. “Whether or not it rises to the level of cyber terrorism depends on a number of factors, including the actor, its motive, and the sheer impact of the attack. It’s important, therefore, for businesses to adopt best practices, promote a culture of awareness of cybersecurity within their organization, and report an incident if one occurs.”

Rodriguez will speak Wednesday, February 18, at noon at Mercer County Community College. For more information on the free lecture, visit www.mccc.edu or call 609-570-3324.

Rodriguez was a CIA counterterrorism analyst and manager for about a decade before joining the state homeland security office. He has a bachelor’s from Williams College and a doctorate in political science from Notre Dame.

In his lecture, Rodriguez will discuss the cyber-terrorism vulnerabilities faced by the United States, and by New Jersey in particular. He will also detail the ways his agency is attempting to counteract those threats.

“We recently activated the New Jersey Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Cell, or NJCCIC, to serve as the State’s central hub for cybersecurity information sharing and analysis,” he says. “The NJCCIC fuses cyber threat information from a variety of local and federal sources and aims to promote shared awareness across New Jersey’s public and private sectors. New Jersey’s cyber threat landscape is, in many ways, unique due to our State’s digital density.”

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