Downtown Concierge

Helping to Keep Workplaces Secure


Downtown Matters Newsletter


Downtown Columbus

Member Security Event 0615On June 17, Capital Crossroads SID hosted Improve the Security of Your Workplace, an event offered to SID members to learn about cyber security and physical safety issues. The free seminar featured a team of experts gathered to share information on protecting individuals and businesses from danger in both the physical and virtual world.

The event kicked off with a presentation by Lisa Defendiefer, deputy director of operations & advocacy for CCSID. Defendiefer highlighted the wide-ranging safety resources offered by both Capital Crossroads and Discovery SIDs, including clean and safe ambassadors, homeless outreach, graffiti removal, safety escorts and management of the Security Managers Information Network of Ohio (SMINO). Between both SIDs, more than 30 ambassadors patrol the streets, serving as extra sets of eyes and ears for the Columbus Division of Police. Additionally, the SID maintains a security website and radio system that links public and private security entities throughout downtown in real time and coordinates meetings and trainings for the SMINO partnership.

While the SIDs help with security on the streets of downtown, danger also lurks in the cyber world. Nicholas Hinsch of eVal, a downtown business that specializes in cyber security, networking and business communications solutions, then addressed such issues. He noted that frequent testing and auditing is the only way to determine whether a business is being hacked, suggesting that businesses that rely on firewall or threat data leave themselves exposed.

“To test the implementation of your information security policies, procedures, guidelines and breach preparedness, businesses should employ frequent penetration testing, vulnerability assessments and static code audits for new and revised business logic,” Hinsch added.

Clifford Collins of InfraGard addressed the topic of cyber-terrorism, noting that a 2013 risk assessment performed for Franklin County found it ranked fifth on a list of possible threats and hazards. InfraGard, an FBI-led intelligence sharing work group, and other public and private organizations collaborate with Franklin County Emergency Management and Homeland Security on a Cyber Security Initiative. Collins shared that individuals and businesses can become members of InfraGard and will receive alerts and bulletins on the topic of cyber security in Central Ohio.

Many of us are concerned about the safety of our personal phones and computers. Nicole Walker of AT&T, a Capital Crossroads SID Business Member, addressed such concerns, particularly with regard to using public Wi-Fi. She recommended not connecting to suspicious Wi-Fi networks; installing a mobile antivirus and security app on your phone; selecting apps that use encryption; connecting to a Virtual Private Network (VPN) for maximum security protection; and ensuring that your web-based email is secure.

Finally, Blair Staud with Ohio Support Services shared information on personnel security. He explained that pre-employment screening is essential to good personnel security, as employees will have access to company sites and important information. Pre-employment screening should consist of verification of employment reported on an application or resume; running a criminal records check; and requesting a pre-employment drug test.

Thank you to Chase Tower and Insyte Consulting for sponsoring this event.