Almost 300 cybersecurity thought leaders recently convened in Howard County at Cyber 6.0 to discuss and consider the rapidly evolving cloud and its impact on risk management, security and our nation.

That morning, keynote speaker at the event William Arbaugh, president and CTO of Five Directions, explained the attractiveness and inherent risks of the cloud environment. Then Markus Rauschecker of the University of Maryland Center for Health and Homeland Security brought up the serious legal and policy issues inherent in the cloud. What are the standards for liability protection? How do you ensure them? What happens to your data if the cloud provider goes out of business? Is encryption really 100% secure?

Breakout sessions covered the topics of health information technology (IT), mobile IT, FedRAMP, insider threat vulnerabilities and solutions. Mentoring sessions were offered for small businesses that are pursuing federal contracts, and the presence of more than 40 exhibitors demonstrated the thriving business climate for cybersecurity in the region. And the winner of the Cyber 6.0 Tech Talk Challenge was Sarah Helble of The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, with her presentation on “Sparse 2-D Authentication.”

The Cyber Central sponsor was Leidos and the Cyber Hub sponsors were Akamai and Dell Federal. Cyber 7.0 is coming to Howard County on June 22, 2016, and the theme will be Critical Infrastructure. Sponsorships are available. For more information, contact Gov Connects Executive Director Maureen Thomas at [email protected].

GovConnects, DARS Sponsor ‘Dogfight’ at RBTC

Thomas said, “In presenting ‘Dogfight,’ Red Branch Theatre Co. (RBTC) is providing well-deserved recognition of our veterans. It’s an honor to support this production and take this opportunity to recognize the significant contribution veterans make on a daily basis to the growth and economic viability of the Howard County region. In the federal contracting community and the greater Howard County community, veterans play a vital role as business leaders, solution providers and creative problem solvers. We hope this opportunity gives others in the community a chance to see veterans in that larger role.”

“It’s our honor to join GovConnects in saluting our veterans and thanking them for their service and sacrifice,” said local attorney Jeffrey Agnor of Davis, Agnor, Rapaport & Skalny.

The production sponsorship enables Red Branch to welcome veterans to the show at no charge. In an ongoing initiative to produce “theater with a social conscience,” RBTC will honor veterans during the run of the show. To submit a nomination, e-mail [email protected] with a brief biography of the nominee and explain why they deserve the recognition.

Oct. 20: Women in Government Contracting Reception

GovConnects’ fall networking reception for women in government contracting will feature Fran Craig, CEO of Unanet, as guest speaker. Meet at AIDA Bistro, in Columbia Gateway, to network and learn best practices from an entrepreneur known for building her business “from the ground up,” while strengthening business relationships with those who are active in the federal government contracting world.

Registration is available via or by calling 410-730-4111.

Nov. 4: Veterans BizBreakfast

The community will meet at Turf Valley to celebrate veteran-owned businesses run by the men and women who served in America’s armed forces and now serve as business leaders in the region. The guest speaker will be Fort Meade Garrison Commander Brian Foley, who will present an update and vision for the fort’s future growth. We hope that you join us at this year’s event.

Consider signing up as a sponsor for the breakfast or a round of golf with a veteran. Details and registration are at or 410-730-4111.