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For Immediate Release
Monday, August 3, 2020

AIF: Sarah Bascom / Kristen McDonald Grissom


FAIF, DEO, FloridaMakes and WCI to Co-Host Second Annual Cybersecurity Forum

Virtual Event to be Keynoted by U.S. Senator Marco Rubio

Tallahassee, Fla. — The Foundation of Associated Industries of Florida (FAIF), Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), FloridaMakes and Workers’ Compensation Institute (WCI) will co-host the Cybersecurity Forum 2020 on September 16-17. The second annual forum, which is being held as a virtual event this year, will include relevant educational offerings on best practices in cybersecurity for businesses across all industries and professionals at all levels. The event will also provide a thorough overview of the new federally mandated Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) Standards and guidance for the tens of thousands of Florida companies that must ensure compliance to maintain their business operations.

“Cybersecurity attacks are a threat to the existence of every Florida business – from large to small and in every conceivable industry. The AIF Foundation is thrilled to partner with DEO, FloridaMakes and WCI on this important event that will help every business to better protect their customers and improve the security of their private information,” said Tom Feeney, President and CEO of AIF. “This year’s Cybersecurity Forum will feature acting U.S. Senate Intelligence Chairman Marco Rubio and leading experts from diverse industries working to protect Florida’s business and state infrastructure. In addition, for Florida’s defense supply chain, a thorough review of the U.S. Department of Defense’s new CMMC Standards, which become mandatory starting this fall, will be provided, including information critical to protecting businesses’ ability to work with the federal government.”

“Florida’s military and defense industry has a significant impact on the state’s economy,” said Jason Rojas, Director of Strategic Business Development at the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. “The Florida Cybersecurity Forum seeks to strengthen and protect Florida’s aerospace and defense supply chains and educate businesses throughout the state about the importance of cybersecurity. I am confident this year’s program will be a valuable tool for businesses who are looking to be better informed on new data protection standards that will enable them to continue to compete in the global marketplace.”

The Cybersecurity Forum 2020 will provide a comprehensive look at current technology and advances to cybersecurity detection and defense that is critical for all of Florida’s business entities as attacks by hackers, pirates, and foreign government agents seek to take advantage of large and small businesses alike. The second day of the program will focus on companies in the defense supply chain and compliance with the new U.S. Department of Defense’s CMMC Standards.

“Florida’s defense industry receives the fourth largest amount of defense contracts among all states and its manufacturing sector is the largest beneficiary of those dollars,” said Kevin Carr, Chief Executive Officer of FloridaMakes. “This event presents a unique opportunity for our attendees to learn about the impact of cybersecurity on their business.”

Jim McConnaughhay, General Chair of WCI, added, “The workers’ compensation industry retains a huge amount of confidential information that requires constant diligence in protecting. The need for ‘best practices’ training that this forum offers has never been greater. The Cybersecurity Forum was originally scheduled to take place at the annual WCI Educational Conference held in August, but because of the pandemic, the conference, in large part, was postponed until 2021. However, because of the urgency for cybersecurity training, the decision was made to present these sessions in a virtual format. There is a strong probability that a substantial segment of the workers’ compensation community will be subject to the new mandatory requirements of the CMMC standards. This forum offers an excellent training tool for creating an understanding of the scope of these standards and, in particular, their application to workers’ compensation.”

Keynoting this year’s forum is U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, who will speak on September 16. As Acting Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Rubio is uniquely positioned to provide attendees with a compelling overview of the national risks associated with cyber breaches from other nation states. Also featured is special guest speaker Katherine Arrington, Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, who will give attendees an update on CMMC Standards implementation timelines, the certification process, and the impact to industry.

Registration for the Cybersecurity Forum 2020 is now open at

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