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Emerging Tech Conference 2021

January 28 @ 8:15 am - 12:30 pm EST

FREE for GWDC Members and $60 for Non-GWDC Members

The ISACA GWDC is proud to host our annual Emerging Tech Conference 2021 on January 28th. This year it is virtual. Technological advances such as artificial intelligence, augmented reality, 3D printing, blockchain and 5G will have a significant impact to our daily lives. Organizations and digital born companies want a competitive edge and are implementing these technologies while leaving the risk of their implementations on audit and security professionals. We need to consider and understand their implications to harness their capabilities to proactively address risks. The ISACA GWDC Emerging Tech 2021 conference features local thought leaders and demonstrations on current and emerging topics related to addressing the risk and impact in new technology.

Attendees of ISACA GWDC Emerging Tech 2021 Conference will learn from, and engage with, dynamic speakers about the potential, status and threats surrounding these technologies.


5G Wireless:  Capabilities and Challenges for an Evolving Network
Presenter:  Vijay D'Souza (GAO) and AJ Yohn (GAO)
Fifth-generation (5G) wireless networks promise to provide significantly greater speeds and higher capacity to accommodate more devices. 5G networks are also expected to be more flexible, reliable, and secure than existing cellular networks. To reach the full potential of 5G, new technologies will need to be developed. International bodies that have been involved in defining 5G network specifications will need to develop additional 5G specifications and companies will need to develop, test, and deploy these technologies. GAO identified the challenges that can hinder the performance or usage of 5G technologies in the U.S and identified policy options that may address the challenges.

Blockchain and Risk Management
Presenter:  Adewale Omoniyi (IBM)
Blockchain is one of the top buzzwords recently that has the ability to transfer how enterprises operate.  Adewale will be discussing risk management reference frameworks to managing security assurances on blockchain networks. The discussion will examine security risks and threats to blockchain ecosystems and approaches to leveraging a blockchain reference framework informed by Risk Management Frameworks RMF, DevSecOps based blockchain security controls to make risk based decisions across distributed ledger ecosystems and networks.

NIST National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) Technical Ransomware Attack Mitigations for Prevention and Response
Presenter:  Jennifer Cawthra (NIST) and Michael Ekstrom (MITRE)
This presentation will describe cybersecurity best practices and recommendations to help you prepare for and respond to a ransomware (or other type of data loss) event. We will review the 3 publications that provide technical recommendations to help you identify, protect, detect, respond to these types of events. We will also discuss recommendations for securely maintaining the backups needed in the response and recovery phase of an event.



Vijay D'Souza
Director, Government Accountability Office Information Technology and Cybersecurity  
Vijay D'Souza oversees a diverse IT audit portfolio. He leads multiple efforts to evaluate the performance of federal programs in the areas of cybersecurity and information technology. He leads GAO’s E-Security Lab, which provides technical support to GAO’s cybersecurity engagements. Previously Vijay led GAO’s efforts to enhance its data analytics capabilities. He has also led audits in areas such as improper payments and IT program management.  Vijay joined GAO in 2001. Vijay earned a master’s degree in business administration from the University of California-Berkeley and a bachelor of science degree in engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Cawthra Photo

Jennifer Cawthra
Healthcare Sector Lead, National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCOE), National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Jennifer Cawthra is a Senior Cybersecurity Engineer who leads an engineering team at the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, which is part of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). She and her team promote the acceleration of businesses’ adoption of standards-based, advanced security technologies for the healthcare sector. As our dependence on Internet-based tools and services increases, we must be more vigilant in protecting our data and systems. Jennifer has been addressing cybersecurity issues for over 20 years. Jennifer is a Program Management Professional (PMP) and holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Penn State.


Adewale O Omoniyi
Associate Partner, IBM
Adewale O Omoniyi is an Associate Partner in the Cybersecurity and Blockchain Services organization at IBM. Adewale leads innovation and offering development efforts at the intersection of Cybersecurity and emerging technologies. Adewale earned an MBA in Strategy and Global Business at Stern, New York University and the following cybersecurity industry certifications CISSP, CISM, CRISC.


Michael Ekstrom
Lead Cybersecurity Engineer, MITRE
Michael Ekstrom is a senior cybersecurity engineer at the National Cybersecurity Federally Funded Research and Development Center, operated by the MITRE corporation, in support of the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence. He supports the Data Integrity and Data Confidentiality projects, as well as supporting the NCCoE’s work in the hospitality sector. Ekstrom holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science with a minor in applied cybersecurity from the University of Maryland.

Alec Yohn

AJ Yohn
IT Security Analyst, Government Accountability Office Information Technology and Cybersecurity
AJ Yohn takes part in a variety of IT audits, with a specific emphasis on security. His previous audit work includes avionics cybersecurity and the 5G Technology Assessment. AJ joined GAO in 2018. AJ earned a master’s degree in cybersecurity from Utica College and a bachelor of science degree in labor studies from the Pennsylvania State University.

bogdan mihaila

Bogdan Mihaila
Program Director, National Science Foundation
Bogdan Mihaila joined the Division of Physics at the National Science Foundation in 2013. Prior to his NSF appointment, he served on the scientific staff at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Dr. Mihaila earned a Diploma in Engineering Physics from the University of Bucharest in 1989 and a Doctorate in Theoretical Physics from the University of New Hampshire in 1998. His research concerns applications of many-body theory to cold atoms, condensed matter, nuclear and high-energy physics. At LANL he worked also on topics of materials science and developed physics-based simulations in support of process modeling and engineering. He was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2011.



Conference presentations are posted to the Presentations Library if permission is received from the presenter and their organization. In some cases, permission is not received.

Sponsor this Event

If your organization is interested in being an event sponsor, please take a look at the five (5) various event sponsorship packages and click this sponsorship link to become a sponsor.


Earn up to 4 Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits in the area of Specialized Knowledge. The ISACA® NCAC is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website: http://www.learningmarket.org.

CPE Distribution and Evaluation Survey

CPE's will be distributed via e-mail along with the event evaluation survey after the completion of the event. Attendees must be present the full day to receive full CPE credit.

CPE-Related Details

  • Prerequisites and Advance Preparation: Not applicable
  • Program Knowledge Level: Beginner to Intermediate
  • Delivery Method: Virtual


January 28
8:15 am - 12:30 pm EST
FREE for GWDC Members and $60 for Non-GWDC Members
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Jose Torres