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Keeping business representatives informed is an important part of successful technology solutions. Each year Golden West hosts two Technical Briefing sessions for IT professionals and two Executive Briefing sessions for organizational leaders. Watch this page for details.

2023 TECHLeadership Conference


November 7, 2023

Tech Leadership Conference empowers businesses with cybersecurity insights

More than 100 people attended the Tech Leadership Conference on Tuesday, Oct. 10, at the Box Events Center. Golden West Technologies coordinated the event in collaboration with SDN Communications, Elevate Rapid City, and Omnitech, Inc.

Attendees learned valuable information about cybersecurity and digital trends. One of the main takeaways was that cybersecurity is no longer just a problem for IT departments – it’s a challenge for everyone.

Golden West Technologies Chief Technology Officer Nick Rogness reiterated that cybersecurity threats are becoming an increasing problem. He said South Dakota companies should be prepared and learn how to jump ahead of it.

“It’s crucial for business leaders and their teams not just to keep up, but to get ahead in today’s increasingly digital world,” Rogness said. “It’s important we are aware that this threat is real, even if we are in South Dakota. This doesn’t only occur in big cities.”

Katie Shuck, a cyber intelligence analyst from the South Dakota Fusion Center, gave the keynote address, “Lessons We (Should) Have Learned about Cybersecurity.” She presented on topics such as how mobile devices are changing ‘how we click’ on suspicious links, the role of employees in providing quality customer service, and the value of information sharing among organizations.

“One of the biggest realities that we miss, is understanding we’re human,” Shuck said. “Attacks start with us, and we can and should continue to train employees on cybersecurity.”

Following the keynote, attendees participated in breakout sessions. These focused on best practices for cybersecurity, cyber investment, South Dakota Consumer Protection’s approach to cyber challenges, and establishing strong foundations with artificial intelligence.

During the session on cyber investment, Eric Eisenbraun, senior vCIO at Golden West Technologies, and Katelyn Flowers-Velasquez, senior security analyst at Black Hills Energy, shared insights on executive teams’ best practices for protecting their organizations. They also covered the complexities of defending against cyberattacks.

“We do still live here in western South Dakota – where we are farmers, ranchers, or small business owners,” Eisenbraun says. “We can take a lot of risk in our lives as business owners, but unfortunately, the cybersecurity world doesn’t work like that.”

Other presenters at the conference included Nick Podhradsky from SBS CyberSecurity, Travis Krogen from Boen & Associates, Jody Gillespie from the South Dakota Attorney General’s Office, Juan Harrington from Omnitech, and Matt Scully from Kaseya.

The collaborating organizations plan to establish the Tech Leadership Conference as an annual event for all industries in the Black Hills. The goal is to help businesses stay connected and to be well-prepared in an ever-evolving digital world.

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