There is still time to participate in the 5th Annual  Business Super Prepared

SuperPrepared-Logo_Trans_ColorBusiness owners must expect the unexpected—AND prepare for it! That’s the message of the 5th Annual  Business Super Prepared”, a conference and expo planned for Wednesday, September 27, at the Lorenzo Cultural Center, Macomb Community College, in Clinton Township.

Top area hospitals and county emergency management teams have joined forces to present this event along with the Macomb County Chamber.

“We read headlines every day about terrible situations that businesses go through—from fires to workplace violence to computer security breaches,” said Grace Shore, CEO of the Macomb County Chamber.  “While we can’t predict what will happen, we can and should do our best to be prepared. Having a plan in place with the ability to respond quickly could mean the difference between business survival and failure.”

Local industry experts will present workshops and case studies on topics including:

  • Cyber Security – Single Employee Click
  • Managing Disruptive Behaviors
  • Being Prepared: A Community Responsibility
  • Human Trafficking
  • Case Study: Equifax Security Breach and what it means to you!

Event sponsors are: Beaumont Hospitals, United Shore Baseball League, General Motors, Accident Fund and McLaren Macomb.  This event is presented in partnership with Leadership Macomb and Macomb County Emergency Management.

“This is really valuable information that everyone needs to consider. We hope our business community and area municipalities will take advantage of the dynamic program and resources that we have assembled,” said Vicki Wolber, director of Macomb County Emergency Management and Communications.

The conference and expo take place from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Macomb Community College’s Lorenzo Cultural Center. The event costs $15 and includes continental breakfast and lunch and vendor show. Register online at Macomb County Chamber or phone (586) 493-7600 with questions.

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Velocity introduces hacking tools in cyber training course

The Velocity Hub of the Michigan Cyber Range offers those looking to hone their offensive and defensive cybersecurity skills the opportunity to do so at the next Guided Capture the Flag course June 15.

This daylong program enables students to engage in live attacks on networked systems in a secured environment. Students will learn the fundamentals of hacking tools, techniques and methodologies. Topics such as password exploitation and storage, proxy chaining and SQL vulnerabilities will be covered. This is a great starting point for anyone interested as it is tailored to each participant, allowing students to dig as deep into the exercise as they are able.

This capture the flag exercise is hosted on the Michigan Cyber Range, the nation’s largest unclassified training cyber range, and takes place in a virtual training environment known as Alphaville. This is a simulated town that includes a school, library, power and electric, private business and city hall. Alphaville was created by Nathan Dragun who is the instructor for this class as well as the director of development for the Michigan Cyber Range.

Dragun has a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Western Michigan University. He has completed advanced training in network security and artificial intelligence and has more than 13 years of experience solving complex technical issues in areas of security, computer networking, software development and architectural design.

Guided Capture the Flag takes place from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, June 15 at the Velocity Hub of the Michigan Cyber Range, 6633 18 Mile Road, Sterling Heights, 48314. The cost is $625, and registration information can be found at www.oakland.edu/macombouinc/cyber-institute/education. There are no pre-qualifications to enroll. For more information, contact Joan Carleton at macinc@oakland.edu or (586) 884-9324.

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Caitlin Gerds-Habermas is an associate planner in business outreach and communications for the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development.

New cybersecurity hub latest in Macomb County workforce enhancements

20170124_085350Seeking to be at the forefront of workforce development, Macomb County celebrated the opening of the new Michigan Cyber Range Hub at Wayne State’s Advance Technology Education Center in Warren this week. This new hub will provide hands-on experience for students in areas of cybersecurity, hosting activities such as digital capture-the-flag events where participants use skills to work on digital penetration and forensics to gather clues and collect evidence in a timed and scored environment.

Operated by Ann Arbor-based nonprofit Merit Network Inc., the hub provides its services through the Wayne State College of Engineering and Division of Educational Outreach. The hub is the latest in a network of cyber ranges already in place in Macomb County. Velocity, Selfridge Air National Guard Base and General Dynamics Land Systems all feature fully operational cybersecurity hubs.

The opening ceremony brought together a regional network of workforce development partners including Wayne State University Provost Keith Whitfield; Sean Carlson, executive director of the Michigan Defense Center; Jim Jacobs, president of Macomb Community College; Joseph Sawasky, president and CEO of Merit Network; and Tricia Walding, senior project manager with the Workforce Intelligence Network.

20170124_091930Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel was on hand for the ceremony and remarked how the opening reflects a continued trend of Macomb County’s readiness to compete in a globally competitive market and of the county’s emergence as a front runner in the information technology industry.

“I was born and raised within a stone’s throw of this place,” Hackel said. “The transformation of Macomb County has been absolutely incredible. This will bring together educators and industry for the betterment of all southeastern Michigan. We look forward to sharing the hub with the community.”

Resources to create the hub were provided in support from the Southeast Michigan Defense Industry Adjustment Grant through the Office of Economic Adjustment in the Department of Defense.

Posavetz, Nick IMG_0221Nick Posavetz is a senior planner for Macomb County, providing content for the Macomb Business and Make Macomb Your Home websites and associated social media accounts. If you have something you’d like to feature, reach out to him at posavetz@macombgov.org.

IT jobs growing in Macomb County

As the world becomes increasingly interconnected through technology, Macomb County is on the cutting edge of the information technology (IT) and cybersecurity industries.

There are currently 367 companies that make up Macomb County’s network of IT and cybersecurity businesses. Collectively, they employ more than 8,000 workers (and growing!). These companies are utilizing sophisticated software systems and the latest in technology to revolutionize security.

IT1At the Velocity Hub of the Michigan Cyber Range, Macomb County companies have access to the resources they need to secure their connected products. Certification classes in more than 20 different cybersecurity disciplines equip our workforce with the knowledge needed to excel in this growing industry.

The county is also home to MADCAT (Michigan Automotive & Defense Cyber Assurance Team), an organization devoted to supporting the region’s cyber ecosystem. Through collaborative partnerships, MADCAT focuses on driving technology innovation forward.

Jobs are available and growing across all fields of IT and cybersecurity. Here is a snapshot of some of the fastest growing in June of this year.

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The business development team of the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development is here to help.  Our job is to be knowledgeable about and connected to a wide assortment of programs available to help businesses succeed.

Our services are free, confidential and easily accessed.  Simply get in touch, and we will arrange for your team to meet with our seasoned professionals. We will listen to your goals to grow your business, discuss current and anticipated barriers and discuss options for getting you on your way.

Posavetz, Nick IMG_0221Nick Posavetz is a senior planner for Macomb County, often providing content for the Macomb Business and Make Macomb Your Home websites and associated social media accounts. If you have something you’d like to feature, reach out to him at posavetz@macombgov.org.

Connected technologies take root in Macomb

H3-160609887On Wednesday at the Mackinac Policy Conference, Gov. Rick Snyder introduced the state’s new Planet M initiative, which focuses on branding Michigan’s mobility assets, especially autonomous and connected vehicle technology. The importance of connected technologies continues to grow in today’s economy. Macomb County is already taking steps to promote economic development in this cyber arena as is seen in the development of key assets such as MADCAT (Michigan Automotive & Defense Cyber Assurance Team) and the Velocity Hub of the Michigan Cyber Range.

When the Velocity Hub in Sterling Heights celebrated its grand opening in March, it joined the ranks of other cyber ranges in the county including at Selfridge Air National Guard Base and General Dynamics Land Systems’ MC2. However, the unclassified Velocity Hub is different because it is the only one open to the public, providing resources for local businesses and entrepreneurs.

FrontCyberRangeFor a fee, companies looking to test the security of their connected products can undergo a full day of penetration testing at the Velocity Hub. This will test the product against a checklist of best practices and result in a comprehensive final report detailing potential security vulnerabilities. The Velocity Hub also leases space for companies to utilize a virtual sandbox. Equipped with hardware and software, this enables startups and emerging companies to test the products they’re developing in a secure environment.

Also available are cybersecurity certification courses. These courses are perfect for an employer looking to fortify his or her staff with advanced cybersecurity knowledge as well as for the individual looking to build his or her resume. Various certification courses will be offered through Mile2 starting at the end of this month. Each course is five days long with a certification exam on the last day. The price ranges from $1,500 to $3,000, depending on the course.

Another unique facet of the Velocity Hub is that it is managed by the Macomb-OU INCubator and is housed in the same facility at the Velocity Collaboration Center. As such, startups have the option to lease office space at the incubator, giving them access to support services, classes and a network of other promising entrepreneurs.

It is no wonder MADCAT often chooses the Velocity Collaboration Center as the location for their quarterly meetings. Close proximity to the Velocity Hub, flexible seating options and a large projection screen available for presentations make it the perfect meeting space for this cybersecurity-focused organization.

As Michigan strives to gain dominance in the race to create autonomous vehicles, collaborative partnerships are happening in Macomb County to offer resources, tools and guidance to enable the mobility industry to grow.

Caitlin Gerds-Habermas is an associate planner in Business Outreach and Communications for the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development.

 

Revamped and relaunched: MADCAT.org

MADCAT logo

Aiming to be a central source for news and events related to cybersecurity, the revamped
MADCAT (Michigan Automotive & Defense Cyber Assurance Team)  website has officially launched at MADCAT.org.

The MADCAT website features several partners that have contributed to the organization’s efforts of growing the cybersecurity community.

MADCAT’s talent partners include local colleges and universities with programs ranging from certificate courses to master’s degrees. These programs help to further train and engage our regional talent pool in cybersecurity activities. One such talent partner, Walsh College, has the unique distinction of being named a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense, a status designated by the National Security Agency.

Institutional partners named on the site include a range of businesses, nonprofits and military representatives. Several of the institutional partners have established private cyber testing ranges; however, the Velocity Hub of the Michigan Cyber Range at Macomb-OU INCubator remains the sole cyber range accessible to the public.

The site’s Resources tab contains links to tools that both the public and governmental agencies can utilize to ensure their networks are secure. The state of Michigan has several informational resources featured on the site, including the cyber disruption strategy and Michigan Cyber Initiative. A 25-minute video with Brig. Gen. Michael Stone features a panel discussion on how cybersecurity threats are monitored, prevented and addressed by both the automotive and defense industries. As these industries in particular continue to power Macomb County’s economic growth, it is vital for business owners and employees to be aware of potential threats and how to prevent a cyberattack.

Look for events and MADCAT quarterly meetings on the calendar – the group is open to the public and new members are always welcome.

The website’s redesign was the result of a visioning process the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development undertook with Mount Clemens-based digital marketing agency Hunch Free.

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Alyssa Tracey is a senior economic development specialist for the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development.

Cybersecurity in Macomb County: MADCAT

You know it’s time for the Detroit Regional Chamber’s annual Mackinac Policy Conference when Macomb County Executive Mark A. Hackel’s bright smile shines down on you from a billboard.

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This annual conference is a time for Michigan lawmakers and businesses to commingle and discuss the region’s most pressing issues. This year, as the billboard located along I-75 near Mackinaw City displays, Hackel will promote the importance of cybersecurity and how Macomb County is blazing the trail in this industry with the help of MADCAT (Michigan Automotive & Defense Cyber Assurance Team).

Spearheaded by the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development, MADCAT is an organization comprised of representatives from government, business and academia who all have the same concern – how to guard against cyberthreats. Through this collaborative partnership, MADCAT aims to advance cybersecurity technology as well as to stimulate related economic development in southeast Michigan.

Another objective of MADCAT is to work with local colleges, universities and the Macomb Intermediate School District to cultivate talent in this growing industry. This means reaching out to students and educators to introduce them to careers in the field. According to Emsi, specialists in economic data research, in just four years, the number of well-paying software development jobs in Macomb County is projected to grow by 50 percent.

As the importance of connected technologies continues to grow in many industries, so does the need to protect confidential information from cyberattacks. If you are interested in partnering with MADCAT, visit their website at MADCAT.org.

Caitlin Gerds-Habermas is an associate planner in Business Outreach and Communications for the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development.