CIA Director William Burns and Gen. James Dickinson, Commander, United States Space Command, will headline the 13th Annual Billington Cybersecurity Summit, that’s happening September 7-9 at the Washington Convention Center. The event is in-person for the first time in two years. The packed, three-day cyber event will address urgent cyber needs for the U.S. by exploring “Transforming Cybersecurity Through a Unified Approach.”  The Hon. Chris Inglis, National Cyber Director, EOP; DHS CISA Director Jen Easterly; and John Sherman, CIO, DoD are among the speakers who will be discussing the hottest cyber trends and issues such as 5G, AI, encryption, Zero Trust, cybercrime, and more. But there are more than 100 speakers from government, military, nonprofits, industry, and academia who will speak at the different sessions, panel discussions, and fireside chats.

3 Reasons to Attend the Billington Cybersecurity Summit

With leading senior cyber government decision-makers talking about key trends and topics, the hope is that this will foster deeper dialogue between government leaders and private industry. But is there really a benefit to attending personally? Here are three key reasons to attend.

1. Network

Don’t underestimate the power of a good network. In a connected world, you can’t just rely on social media to feel connected to others in your industry. You actually need to get some face time in there. And this is a key opportunity to network with a common topic to discuss. So, whether you need to network for yourself or your company, you can’t put a price tag on the opportunity to build relationships within the industry.

2. Collaboration

It’s not every day that you have the opportunity to step away from your desk and think through a host of cybersecurity issues and see how they are being handled at your competitor’s office or in the government. When it comes to cybersecurity, you may want to do things better than your competitor, but neither of you want adversaries to successfully breach companies in national security. If they can come for your competition, they can come for you. Events like this summit open the communications to share best practices and think of unidentified threats. If we want to strengthen the national security community, it happens when we share information.

3. Education

Maybe there’s an area you’ve been meaning to explore. Maybe you have a contract you want your company to bid on, but you’re not sure that you’re understanding all the nuances of one issue. Or maybe you want to take a lateral career step within cybersecurity. Whatever the reason is to learn more, a conference opens up the discussion on a variety of topics. And if you’re finding internal resistance about key cyber issues, it’s a great time to take someone from leadership with you to validate what you’ve been saying.

How to Get There

Amazon Web Services and Raytheon are some of the top sponsors, out of a list of more than 40. Learn more or register at Complimentary government and military tickets are available. Tickets for corporate attendees are $595-$895; academic and non-profits are $125; and students are $25.

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Jillian Hamilton has worked in a variety of Program Management roles for multiple Federal Government contractors. She has helped manage projects in training and IT. She received her Bachelors degree in Business with an emphasis in Marketing from Penn State University and her MBA from the University of Phoenix.