Cybersecurity Summit

Oct. 31, 2023, 1-4 p.m. WMU Student Center

presented by the Office of Information Technology for all members of the WMU community.

Be part of the solution!

The Western Michigan University Cybersecurity Summit will take place Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2023, from 1-4 p.m. The summit will present participants with current global, national, and higher education cybersecurity trends from the perspective of recognized industry leaders. Speakers will discuss the state of cybersecurity from the global perspective, the current impact on higher education, how WMU is preparing for today and tomorrow, and how every member of the community can take steps to protect our professional and personal assets.

Who should attend?

  • IT directors, staff and their supervisors
  • university leadership and decision-makers
  • all IT and business focused instructors and students
  • anyone interested in being part of the cybersecurity solution at WMU

The summit is for WMU staff, instructors and students and is free to attend. Registration is required and open to anyone with a Bronco NetId. The summit is capped at 200 attendees so register to guarantee your spot.

Get involved!


WMU Student Center, Ballroom A/B 

The Cybersecurity Summit will take place in the WMU Student Center's second-floor ballroom on WMU's main campus. For directions and more information about the location visit


Oct. 31, 2023, 1-4 p.m. scheduled topics.

  • Welcome and overview

    Introduction and opening remarks from Andrew Holmes, CIO, WMU Office of Information Technology.

  • FBI's mission to impose cost on global cyber adversaries

    SC Leatherman will present on the FBI's mission to impose cost on global cyber adversaries, leveraging its law enforcement and intelligence community authorities, and how the private sector and academia can contribute to that effort. 

  • Break

    Pause to transition to the next speaker.

  • Incident Response Trends: Q3 2023

    Discussion on the recent trends observed by Cisco Talos Incident Response (Talos IR) over the last quarter. Showcasing the top threats, vectors and targets that Talos IR responded to. In addition, hear details directly from an incident responder about what happens behind the scenes during these types of engagements.

  • Break

    Pause to transition to the next speaker.

  • Cyber Threats, Vectors of Attack, and Mitigations

    Cyber Threats, Vectors of Attack, and Mitigations presented by Brandon Smith, Michigan State Police.

  • Break

    Pause to transition to the next speaker.

  • Security roadmap overview

    WMU Cybersecurity strategies and priorities roadmap presented by Charles Norton, Security and Privacy Officer, WMU Office of Information Technology.

  • Training launch and closing remarks

    Launch of the annual cybersecurity training initiative presented by Charles Norton, Security and Privacy Officer, WMU Office of Information Technology.

    Closing remarks presented by Andrew Holmes, CIO, WMU Office of Information Technology.

Meet the speakers

  • Brett Leatherman, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) - Section Chief, Cyber Division

    Brett Leatherman is Section Chief of cyber national security work for the FBI. Under Presidential Policy Directive 41, the FBI is the lead cyber threat response agency for the United States Government, and in this role, Mr. Leatherman serves as a senior executive managing the FBI’s strategy to impose risk and consequence on some of the most sophisticated state sponsored cyber adversaries targeting U.S. interests.

    Mr. Leatherman previously held several roles in the FBI’s Dallas Division, most recently as the Assistant Special Agent in Charge for National Security, where he managed teams responsible for preventing and investigating counterterrorism, counterintelligence, weapons of mass destruction, and cyber threats throughout North Texas. Also in Dallas, Mr. Leatherman served as Senior Supervisory Resident Agent of the Frisco Resident Agency, managing criminal investigations across North Texas.

    Prior to being assigned to the Dallas Division, Mr. Leatherman held several leadership roles at FBI Cyber Division. Mr. Leatherman first worked as a Supervisory Special Agent in a cyber national security unit overseeing work to identify and mitigate state sponsored cyber threats targeting critical infrastructure, private sector organizations, and government agencies. Mr. Leatherman was then promoted to Assistant Section Chief of the Cyber Operational Engagement Section, managing FBI initiatives to collaborate with domestic and foreign partners to protect U.S. interests. In both roles, Mr. Leatherman worked extensively with the United States Intelligence Community, foreign, and private sector partners to promote a whole of government approach to address cyber threats. 

    Mr. Leatherman entered on duty as an FBI Special Agent in 2003. Prior to his first assignment at FBI Cyber Division, he served in the Cleveland and Detroit Field Offices, while also serving as an FBI pilot and hostage negotiator. Mr. Leatherman graduated from Cornerstone University with a degree in Computer Information Systems, and received a Master’s Degree in Cybersecurity Risk Management from Georgetown University. Mr. Leatherman holds several widely recognized cyber certifications and speaks domestically and internationally on emerging national security and cyber threats.

  • Terryn Valikodath, Cisco Talos Incident Response - DFIR Consultant

    Terryn Valikodath is a DFIR consultant at Cisco Talos Incident Response with several years of experience in DFIR, security engineering and information technology. Terryn previously worked in various industries including manufacturing, biotechnology and finance. This experience allows him to understand cyber-attacks from multiple perspectives and deliver thoughtful and effective solutions.

  • Brandon Smith, Michigan State Police - Cybersecurity Intelligence Analyst, Cyber Section, Michigan Cyber Command Center (MC3), Intelligence Operations Division

    Brandon Smith is a Cybersecurity Intelligence Analyst for the Michigan State Police (MSP) - Michigan Cyber Command Center (MC3). Before joining the MC3, Brandon was the lead technician for the OK2SAY Student Safety Hotline with MSP. Brandon joined the MC3 in 2020. Brandon’s responsibilities at MC3 include securing all elections in Michigan, producing, and disseminating intelligence on cybersecurity, and performing cybersecurity assessments.

  • Charles Norton (Chuck), WMU - Security and Privacy Officer

    Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) with over sixteen years of leadership, innovation, and a drive in the local government sector. Recently made the leap to higher education with a dedicated focus on security and privacy. Spends his days partnering with business leaders across the University to help guide and encourage the culture of security and privacy at the heart of everything we do.

  • Andrew Holmes, WMU - Chief Information Officer

    An innovative, collaborative team builder and complex problem solver with more than 20 years of higher education administration and executive leadership experience. Relentless culture mechanic and proponent for positive, progressive change. Deeply values transparency and transformative thinking. Constantly seeks opportunities to empower people and teams to develop their talents and creativity, and utilize their experiences, diverse perspectives, and knowledge.