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Conference Program

Security Conference Program

Schedule subject to change

Open All Sessions

8:45 a.m.
Welcome - Michael Watson, Chief Information Security Officer of the Commonwealth

With over 19 years of experience working in the information security field, Michael leads the commonwealth security and risk management team which provides security governance, oversight, and risk management for the executive, judicial and legislative branches of government in Virginia.

Michael holds a graduate degree in telecommunications with a focus on security and management from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), incident handler, intrusion analyst, penetration tester and information systems auditor. 

9 a.m.
Opening remarks - Nelson Moe, Chief Information Officer of the Commonwealth

CIO Nelson Moe leads a 200-person organization responsible for oversight of an information technology (IT) portfolio worth $750 million in infrastructure services, IT procurements, cybersecurity and enterprise architecture. Moe serves as the Commonwealth’s chief IT procurement authority, responsible for enterprise-wide request for proposals and contracts for IT infrastructure and applications. The CIO and VITA serve 65 state agencies, 55,000 Commonwealth employees and 8.6 million Virginian residents.

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9:05 - 9:55 a.m.
Keynote - Brian Tirch, Chief Technology Officer, Homeland Security Division, Microsoft Federal

2021 Security Conference Keynote AM

Brian Tirch has over 20 years of IT experience working in many roles throughout his career. Brian holds a BS degree with a concentration in networking and is pursuing his Masters in Eng. with a concentration in Cyber Policy and Compliance. Brian has been a contributing author and technical editor for several books over the years.

Brian has worked for several large companies like EMC (now Dell-EMC) and was an Architect in the Microsoft Technology Center (MTC) for 9 years. Brian is currently the CTO for Microsoft’s Homeland Security Division where he works with senior leaders across the Federal Civilian space with a focus area of DHS and DOJ.

10:05 - 10:55 a.m.
Topical sessions (choose one)
Track 1Track 2Track 3
Steps to Security Validation - How to Measure, Manage and Continuously Validate Your Cybersecurity
Major General Earl Matthews, USAF (RET), VP of Strategy, FireEye
Managing the Digital Data Divide: Maintaining Physical vs. Electronic Records
Chad Owens, Records Management Coordinator, Library of Virginia
How to Investigate and Prevent Cyber Attacks
Eddie McAndrew & Oran Dillon, AISN
11:05 - 11:55 a.m.
Topical sessions (choose one)
Track 1Track 2Track 3
Automating Compliance and Governance
Milty Brizan, Solutions Architect, State & Local GovernmentAmazon Web Services
Overview of Nationwide State Cyber Trends
Meredith Ward, Director, Policy & Research, NASCIO
What To Say When Asked, Are We Safe From Ransomware?
Doug Streit, Executive Director & CISO, Old Dominion University
12:45 - 12:55 p.m.
Remarks - Grindly Johnson, Secretary of Administration, Commonwealth of Virginia 

Grindly Johnson currently oversees the Compensation Board, the Department of Elections, the Department of General Services, the Department of Human Resource Management, the Virginia Information Technologies Agency and the Office of the Chief Data Officer.

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12:55 - 1 p.m.
Remarks - Gov. Ralph S. Northam, Commonwealth of Virginia


Before he was inaugurated as the 73rd Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Ralph Northam served as an Army doctor, pediatric neurologist, business owner, state Senator and Lieutenant Governor. A native of Virginia’s Eastern Shore, Governor Northam was educated at the Virginia Military Institute (VMI), where he graduated with distinction. After graduation, Governor Northam was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Army. He served eight years of active duty and rose to the rank of major.

Governor Northam approaches public service with the same passion he brought to his military and medical service. He is committed to working with leaders from both parties to build a Virginia that works better for every family, no matter who they are or where they live. 

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1 - 1:55 p.m.
Keynote - Larry Weaver, Professional comedian and business leader

2021 Security Conference Keynote PM

Larry Weaver is a nationally-touring motivational speaker and clean comedian backed by years of professional experience. His easy-going demeanor, southern charm and quick wit have won the hearts of audiences across America. 

Larry grew up in the rural village of Saxapahaw, NC and started performing at a young age. After majoring in accounting at the University of North Carolina, Larry left his CPA dreams behind to pursue a career in stand-up comedy. Larry is the President of Trusted Speakers, author of "101 Funny Employee Awards", and a recognized expert in online marketing. His business insights have been quoted in Inc. Magazine and The Wall Street Journal.

2 - 2:50 p.m.
Topical sessions (choose one)
Track 1Track 2Track 3
Double Extortion: Responding to Ransomware Incidents from a Lawyer’s Perspective
Beth Burgin Waller, Esq., Woods Roger, LLC
End-User Computing Security Risks
Edward Miller, Director IT Security Governance, Virginia IT Agency
Securing the Enterprise Network Perimeter: Ensuring Sensitive Data Always Remains Secure in the Cloud
Sadik Al-Abdulla, VP Product Mangement, McAfee
2:50 - 3 p.m.
Closing remarks - Michael Watson, Chief Information Security Officer of the Commonwealth

Thank you for attending the 2021 Commonwealth of Virginia Information Security Conference!