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Joseph F. Rice School of Law

  • Ransomware: National Cybersecurity Legal Institute

2020 National Cybersecurity Legal Institute

The National Cybersecurity Legal Institute took place on March 5, 2020 at the University of South Carolina Joseph F. Rice School of Law. Produced in partnership with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Institute discussed the current threat landscape, the most recent trends in attacks, and of course best practices to avoid becoming a victim.

Additionally, attendees heard from national experts that helped them know how to prepare so they can quickly respond when an attack has been successful—especially with regard to legal, operational, and reputational challenges. 

Among the speakers were members of the federal judiciary and U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the FBI, technology and insurance industry experts, and more.

The Institute was approved for 5.83 CLE credit hours.

View the Agenda:

Dean Robert M. Wilcox welcomes attendees to the 2020 National Cybersecurity Legal Institute.


Klint Walker, Cybersecurity Advisor, Region IV, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency

A Direct Threat to Public Health and Safety

John Riggi, Senior Advisor for Cybersecurity and Risk, American Hospital Association


Ransomware attacks on hospitals are not just economic crimes, they are a direct threat to public health and safety. Learn about the real world impact of ransomware attacks on hospitals, what hospitals are doing to prepare for and respond to ransomware – and how the American Hospital Association is working with the federal government to prevent these attacks.

  • The Honorable Joy  Flowers Conti, Senior United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania 
  • Charles “Tod” Eberle, Chief, National Security & Cyber Section, U.S. Attorney’s Office
  • Steven Kaufman, Principal Deputy Chief Counsel, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency
  • Brian Stevens, Special Agent, Cyber Squad, Federal Bureau of Investigation

Representatives from the United States Attorney community and the Federal Bureau of Investigation will explore the current global threat landscape, the efforts of federal law enforcement to combat these threats, and best practices for mitigating the risks associated with the threats.  They will also discuss the new guidelines for preventing a ransomware attack published by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

 Lessons Learned From Sector Soft Targets
Law Firms
(Room 136)
  • Lauren Johnson, Associate Director, Cyber Investigations, Kivu Consulting, Inc.
  • Karen P. Randall, Chair, Cybersecurity and Data Privacy, Connell Foley, LLP
  • Cindy Starns, Supervisory Special Agent, Cyber and Counter Intelligence; FBI
  • Meghan Welch, Complex/Specialty Claims Adjuster, Professional Liability, AmTrust North America

There is a ransomware attack every 14 seconds on businesses or individuals. Law firms are particularly prime targets for cybercriminals because of the vast amount of sensitive client data they hold.  As we've seen from previous attacks on global BigLaw firms, the consequences stemming from a ransomware attack can cause a law firm to shut down for months or even permanently. The American Bar Association’s Formal Opinion 483 reiterates that “Data breaches and cyberthreats targeting lawyers and law firms are a major professional responsibility and liability threat facing the legal profession.” This session will provide an overview of the lawyers’ legal and ethical responsibilities, the threat landscape for law firms, response options for a ransomware attack and proactive measures for safeguarding your clients’ data and business continuity.

(Room 288)
  • Kenneth Generette, Staff Attorney, Horry County Schools
  • Howard Panensky, Vice President, FINEX - Cyber, Media, Technology and E&O, Willis Towers Watson
  • Robert M. Wilcox, Dean, University of South Carolina School of Law

In 2019 ransomware attacks hit over 1000 schools including universities, colleges and school districts. This program will address decision- making strategies while under attack and best practices to follow to prevent becoming the next victim.

State and Local Government
  • Sean Fay, Cyber Liaison Officer, SC Cyber Coordination Center and SC Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity Program
  • Mark Lester, Information Security Manager, SC Ports Authority

  • Ray Manna, Senior Director, Cybersecurity and Investigations, Kroll North America

  • Denzor Richberg, Intelligence and Analysis Field Officer, Department of Homeland Security
  • Tom Scott, CEO/Founder, New Century Solutions LLC


Protection of the digital information entrusted to the government for the benefit of individual stakeholders (citizens) through complete economic segments of society is necessary to maintain confidence in both our elected and selected government officials. This panel discussion illuminates how state and local governments have dealt with, are dealing with, and are enhancing how they intend to deal with ransomware in the public sector.

 On your own (a cafe is located inside the building)
Transferring the Risk
  • Abigail Oliver, Underwriter of Cyber, Media, Technology, E&O and Miscellaneous Professional Insurance, Ascot Insurance
  • Howard Panensky, Vice President, FINEX - Cyber, Media, Technology and E&O, Willis Towers Watson

2019 saw a dramatic rise in the number of ransomware events throughout the United States and across the globe.  With insurance claim payments increasing significantly, insurance carriers and their policyholders have had to adapt.  This presentation will discuss the contents of traditional cyber insurance, ransomware claim examples, and how the insurance industry is adjusting to the new world order of ransomware.


Will Jamieson, CEO, Stream Live Inc., and the Q Live Game Network


Technology is changing rapidly and new technologies and platforms are here to stay.  While they may improve our daily lives they also introduce security threats. This discussion will cover 5G, ATCS 3.0, autonomous vehicles, and emerging consumer platforms and ways they can be exploited by cybercriminals.


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