Behind the (Cyber) Scenes of the Ferguson Public Safety Crisis Events, an interview with Patrick Woods

By October 26, 2017Public Safety Summit

Before Smart City Tech Summit keynote speaker Patrick Woods, CISO for the Missouri State Highway Patrol, took the stage for our 2017 Public Safety event last Wednesday, Think Big Partners managing partner Herb Sih sat down with him to discuss the how today’s public safety incidents are being influence and impacted by cyber security threats and acts of hacktivism.

Woods experienced this new reality first hand during the crisis events in Ferguson, Missouri when the Anonymous collective came to the aid of the protestors on the street and endangered public safety by threatening to take critical systems offline and leaking private information of law enforcement officers. Since Ferguson, we have seen public safety cyber security incidents like this in places like Baltimore, Dallas and Baton Rouge.

This reoccurring pattern of events confirms that we are all only one controversial incident away from becoming the subject of a cyber attack. This new reality is something that our public safety officials and law enforcement officers have to prepare for – ideally, before an incident occurs. Cyber security does not have to stand in the way of innovation, there are simple solutions that can built into current public safety processes that can make all the difference.

Patrick J. Woods serves as the Chief Information Security Officer for the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Patrol’s CJIS Division Assistant Director for Cybersecurity & Technology. As a member of the FBI’s CJIS Security and Access Subcommittee, he Chairs the Cloud Computing Taskforce, aimed at advancing national policy on securing law enforcement data in the cloud. Mr. Woods holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice, an M.S. in Cybersecurity and is an ISACA Certified Information Security Manager (CISM).

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