Science & Tech

Experts At TEEX’s Inaugural Cyber Readiness Summit Discuss ‘Cyber Race’

Like the great space race of the 1960s, experts say today we're racing for operational advantage in cyberspace.
By Vita Vaughn, Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service March 8, 2024

Cyber Summit breakout session led by Tierra Smith of TEEX
A Cyber Summit breakout session led by Tierra Smith, cybersecurity training specialist at TEEX.

Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service


The Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) held its inaugural Cyber Readiness Summit in San Marcos, Texas, last month. The summit provided engaging talks, interactive sessions and a tabletop exercise to teach participants how to protect, detect and recover from the evolving landscape of cybersecurity incidents that threaten their organizations.

The summit featured four keynote sessions, eight breakout sessions and panel discussions, and a simulation exercise that mimicked a real cybersecurity incident. Speakers were from varying backgrounds, such as government, education, law enforcement, public utilities and the private sector, in addition to experts at the TEEX Business and Cyber Solutions Division. Session topics included incident response planning, ransomware and phishing, cybersecurity and the electric grid, hacking the human mind, and cyber defense lessons learned, among others.

Keynote Speaker John Miri, president of the Electric Grid Cybersecurity Alliance, kicked off the summit by comparing today’s “cybersecurity race” to the 1960s space race that culminated when Apollo 11 landed on the moon in 1969, and U.S. Astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the moon.

“Today, we are in a cyber race — a race for operational advantage in cyberspace,” Miri said. “With the work like we are doing today, we can win the cyber race as well.”

“I was very impressed with the summit and came away with a lot of information and actionable things. I can’t wait to get back to the office and implement what I have learned,” said George Hill, project manager of the Public Works Department for the City of Pflugerville, Texas. “I plan to bring more of our staff to the summit next year.”

“We were pleased to host participants from local government, including many different municipalities and counties; from the field of education, including school districts and universities; as well as participants from healthcare, telecommunications, emergency services, business, and, of course, the tech industry,” said Lisa Mutchler, division director of the TEEX Business and Cyber Solutions Division. “Everyone brought different perspectives and experiences to the conversation about emerging cyber threats and how to address them. We intend to build upon this inaugural summit and make it even bigger and better next year.”

The 2025 Cyber Readiness Summit is scheduled for April 1-3, 2025, at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Convention Center in San Marcos, Texas. Registration will open on July 1 at

Media contact: Vita Vaughn,

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