Hot News

InfoSec Institute – Discount for InfraGard Members

posted Dec 5, 2014, 12:34 PM by Minnesota InfraGard

A special offer has been extended to our InfraGard members from the InfoSec Institute.

The InfoSec Institute/Intense School is a national provider of Information Security professional development training.

InfoSec Institute extends a 20% discount to members of the Minnesota InfraGard chapter on all professional development programs. Stay up to date on the following: Ethical Hacking, Computer Forensics, Data Recovery, Penetration Testing and many others

Also, check out our new proprietary practice test engine,, with over 100,000 free practice questions for the industry’s most popular certs. 


Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month

posted Nov 5, 2014, 1:36 PM by Minnesota InfraGard

A collage of various critical infrastructure sectors. Going clockwise from top left: row of liquid tanks for the Chemical Sector; harvester driving across a field of wheat for the Agriculture and Food Sector; robot arm in an automobile factory for the Critical Manufacturing Sector; sports stadium for the Commercial Facilities Sector; nulcear power plant for the Nuclear Sector; shipping barge with containers ready to be unloaded at a port for the Transportation Sector; and Mount Rushmore.Infrastructure Matters!

November is Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month, a nationwide effort to raise awareness and reaffirm the commitment to keep our Nation’s critical infrastructure secure and resilient. The InfraGard Minnesota Members Alliance has committed to building awareness of the importance of critical infrastructure. 

It is important to realize how Critical infrastructure provides the essential services that underpin our society and sustain our way of life. The power we use in our homes, the water we drink, the transportation that moves us, the bridges that connect us, and the communication systems we rely on to stay in touch with friends and family all play a part each and every day. Safeguarding both the physical and cyber aspects of critical infrastructure is a national priority that requires private-partnership at all levels of government and industry. Managing risks to critical infrastructure involves preparing for all hazards—including natural and manmade incidents and events—reinforcing the resilience of our assets and networks, and staying ever-vigilant and informed. 

Whether it’s an individual or family thinking about how they need to prepare for a disruption of critical infrastructure, or business and industry that need to take steps to ensure the services they provide are resilient to disruptions, November is a time to ensure we are robust as possible. We all need to play a role in keeping infrastructure strong, secure, and resilient. We can do our part at home, at work, and in our community by being familiar with emergency plans, prepared for disruptions, incorporating basic cyber safety practices, and making sure that if we see something, we say something by reporting suspicious activities to local law enforcement. 

To learn more, visit

    DHS-JCIP (Joint Critical Infrastructure Partnership) Webinars in November: Public/Private Partnerships in Critical Infrastructure Security & Resilience

    posted Oct 30, 2014, 9:46 AM by Minnesota InfraGard

    This month the DHS Office of Infrastructure Protection – sponsored JCIP (Joint Critical Infrastructure Partnership) webinar topic is “Effective and Innovative Public/Private Partnerships in Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience”. This webinar will be offered on Tuesday, November 18th at 11am ET and Thursday, November 20th at 2pm ET.  Registration for this event is still open using the links below. 

    The speaker/presenters are all Critical Infrastructure and Resilience professionals representing state government as well as private industry in the states of Ohio and Utah. We are confident will be a valuable series of presenters and subsequent dialogue opportunity with your professional peers.

    Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience: November 18 & 20, 2014

    Public-Private Partnerships Panel: A panel comprised of industry stakeholders as well as government-based critical infrastructure and emergency management specialists from Ohio and Utah will share innovative best practices from public-private partnerships they have collaboratively developed related to critical infrastructure security and resilience.


    The registration link below would work as well if you cannot access the links above:

    Background on JCIP Webinars:

    Each hour-long session is designed to assist critical infrastructure owners and operators, physical security and information security professionals, Chief Information Officers, risk managers, business continuity planners, information technology directors, and local homeland security and emergency management staff in their efforts to enhance the preparation, security, and resilience of communities and their critical infrastructure.

    West Africa Ebola Outbreak: Private Sector Partners Call

    posted Oct 22, 2014, 9:55 AM by Minnesota InfraGard   [ updated Oct 22, 2014, 9:56 AM ]

    Please join your colleagues and partners in a special call with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to discuss CDC’s ongoing efforts to respond to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

    West Africa Ebola Outbreak: Updates for the Private Sector
    Thursday, October 23, 2014, 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. EDT
    USA Toll Free: 1-888-426-8928
    International: +1-773-756-4798
    Verbal Passcode: Ebola

    Please share this invitation widely with your colleagues and partners. (Invite)

    Speaker: Dr. Kashef Ijaz, MD, MPH is the Principal Deputy Director for the Division of Global Health Protection in the CDC’s Center for Global Health. Dr. Ijaz will provide an update on the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, recent developments in the United States, and answer questions addressing private sector concerns and support.

    We anticipate a large number of interested participants due to the high demand for information. We recommend calling in at least 15 minutes early to ensure ample time for participants to be connected to the call. If multiple people from your organization plan to call in, please consider participating as a group and using a single phone line to join the call. This will help us accommodate the demand on our limited phone lines, and allow more organizations to participate.

    In an effort to answer as many of your questions as possible, please email your questions ahead of time to Please use the subject line “10/23 Private Sector Ebola Call.” You may also contact CDC at 800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) any time with questions about Ebola or other health questions.

    How to Join and Participate in the Call:

    1. Dial (888)426-8928 if you are calling from the United States, or +1-773-756-4798 for international participants. You will be greeted by a Live Operator.
    2. Please say the verbal passcode “Ebola” to the Operator upon request.
    3. The operator will request limited information from you for a Participant List so that we can keep track of our meeting participants.
    4. You will then be placed in a “Listen Mode” until the meeting starts.
    5. Near the end of the scheduled meeting time, a question and answer period will be available; dial (*1) to be identified with a question/comment.
    6. We encourage you to email your questions to ahead of the call. Please use the subject line “10/23 Private Sector Ebola Call.”
    7. If you need further Operator assistance is needed during the call, dial (*0)

    Announcement Private Sector Outreach Call

    2015 BERM Conference

    posted Oct 15, 2014, 8:51 AM by Minnesota InfraGard

    Business Emergency and Risk Management Conference (BERM) - SAVE THE DATE

    Wednesday, March 18, 2015, Hennepin Technical College - Brooklyn Park Campus

    Emergencies, natural disasters and workplace violence can happen without warning; being prepared is more important than ever before. Come and hear from Minnesota's leading business continuity and safety professionals share their insights and best practices. This year's conference promises to help your organization - large or small - plan for the unexpected, take care of your people and guard your bottom line.

    BERM Website and 2015 Save the Date Flyer

    Safeguard Iowa Partnership to Offer Free Cyber Security Awareness Webinar Series

    posted Oct 7, 2014, 10:10 AM by Erica Wirtz

    Our friends in the Safeguard Iowa Partnership are offering a free cyber security awareness week webinar series:

    National Cyber Security Awareness Month is designed to engage and educate public and private sector partners through events and initiatives with the goal of raising awareness about cybersecurity and increasing the resiliency of the nation in the event of a cyber incident.

    Safeguard Iowa Partnership announced today that it has become a Champion of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, joining a growing global effort to promote online safety awareness. To support the effort, Safeguard Iowa Partnership has launched the following efforts:

    Join Safeguard Iowa Partnership for the following webinars: 

    • October 9th: Social Engineering & What Businesses Can Do to Protect Themselves
      • Karen Postma, AVP, Fraud Operations and Asset Management for The Members Group, will discuss social engineering, what businesses can look for and steps to take today in order to protect themselves, while also sharing examples of social engineering tactics that could lead to data breaches.
      • Register:
    • October 23rd: Passwords Under Attack and Two Factor Authorization
      • Dr. Jacobson from Iowa State Universities Information Assurance Center will discuss passwords under attack, two factor authorizations and what businesses should be looking for and ways to protect their business and information.  He will also inform the viewers of the Information Assurance Center and how businesses can get involved today.
      • Register:
    • October 30th: Iowa Fusion Center Cyber Crime Component
      • The Division of Intelligence & Fusion Center at the Iowa Department of Public Safety will discuss the Fusion Center and the cyber component that is embedded, what programs and resources are available to the business community and how to become involved. A representative from the Division of Criminal Investigation will discuss the process for reporting suspicious cybersecurity incidents and how the DCI proceeds in a criminal investigation effecting a business.


    National Cyber Security Awareness Month 2014

    posted Oct 7, 2014, 10:10 AM by Erica Wirtz

    From DHS:

    The Internet is part of everyone’s life, every day. We use the Internet at work, home, for enjoyment, and to connect with those close to us.

    However, being constantly connected brings increased risk of theft, fraud, and abuse. No country, industry, community, or individual is immune to cyber risks. As a nation, we face constant cyber threats against our critical infrastructure and economy. As individuals, cybersecurity risks can threaten our finances, identity, and privacy. Since our way of life depends on critical infrastructure and the digital technology that operates it, cybersecurity is one of our country’s most important national security priorities, and we each have a role to play—cybersecurity is a shared responsibility.

    National Cyber Security Awareness Month is designed to engage and educate public and private sector partners through events and initiatives with the goal of raising awareness about cybersecurity and increasing the resiliency of the nation in the event of a cyber incident. October 2014 marks the 11th Annual National Cyber Security Awareness Month sponsored by theDepartment of Homeland Security in cooperation with the National Cyber Security Alliance and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center.

    Our Shared Responsibility

    Through a series of events and initiatives across the country, DHS engages public and private sector partners to raise awareness and educate Americans about cybersecurity and increase the resiliency of the nation and its cyber infrastructure.

    This year, it’s easy to take part in National Cyber Security Awareness Month by participating in any or all of the following weeks. Stay tuned for more information about specific events and resources for each week, including social media resources to help your organization promote each week’s theme.

    Week One: Oct 1-3
    Promoting Online Safety with the Stop.Think.Connect.™ Campaign
    Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility, and everyone can take a few simple steps to make the Internet more secure. This week will also highlight efforts related to Executive Order 13636to strengthen the security and resilience of the nation’s critical infrastructure.
    Week Two: October 6-10 Secure Development of IT ProductsBuilding security into information technology products, including the phones, tablets, and computers we use every day, is key to enhanced cybersecurity.
    Week Three: October 13-17
    Critical Infrastructure and the Internet of Things
    Highlights the importance of protecting critical infrastructure and properly securing all devices, including household items, that are connected to the Internet.
    Week Four: October 20-24
    Cybersecurity for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses and Entrepreneurs
    Showcases what emerging and established businesses can do to protect their organization, customers, and employees.
    Week Five: October 27-31
    Cyber Crime and Law Enforcement
    Working with law enforcement to combat cyber crime and educate the public on how to protect themselves from online crime.

    How to Participate

    Celebrate NCSAM Throughout the Month

    October 1Upload the National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) banner on your organization’s homepage with a link to
    October 2Post a NCSAM message on social media to announce the start of NCSAM month – include #NCSAM @cyber
    October 3Add a NCSAM auto signature to your emails
    October 4-5Weekend
    October 6Send an email to colleagues/constituents announcing NCSAM
    October 7Host a virtual cybersecurity event
    October 8Post a NCSAM blog
    October 9Become a Friend of the Campaign
    October 10Start an online discussion by posting a cybersecurity question on social media – include #NCSAM @cyber
    October 13Columbus Day
    October 14Share a link to a cybersecurity video on social media – include #NCSAM @cyber
    October 15Include cybersecurity information in public remarks such as a speech, intercom announcement, or staff gathering
    October 16Submit a cybersecurity story for a newsletter
    October 17Share a message about the importance of a strong password on social media – include #NCSAM @cyber
    October 18-19Weekend
    October 20Highlight the topic of cyber careers
    October 21Email a cybersecurity tip to your network
    October 22Host a poster contest with cybersecurity as the theme
    October 23Post a cybersecurity fact or figure on social media – include #NCSAM @cyber
    October 24Challenge your followers on social media to become a Friend of the Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign – include #NCSAM @cyber
    October 25-26Weekend
    October 27Provide a link on your organization’s website to current news story about the importance of cybersecurity
    October 28Host a cybersecurity-related event
    October 29Sign up for the US-CERT alert system at to receive alerts with timely information about current security issues and vulnerabilities
    October 30Host a cybersecurity discussion on social media – include #NCSAM @cyber
    October 31Become a Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign partner and keep your cybersecurity and safety efforts going throughout the year

    To get involved in National Cyber Security Awareness Month 2014:

    • Stay tuned for more information about each week, including the 2014 Kick-Off.
    • Find or register a local event on the official calendar.
    • Get information on how your government, law enforcement, business, school, or organization can take action during National Cyber Security Awareness Month.
    • Teach elementary, middle, and high school students about Internet safety and security.
    • Post cybersecurity tips, news, and resources highlighting NCSAM on social media sites during National Cyber Security Awareness Month.

    Year-Round Tips and Resources

    Americans can follow simple steps to keep themselves, their assets, and their personal information safe online. Here are a few tips all Internet users can leverage to practice cybersecurity during National Cyber Security Awareness Month and throughout the year:

    • Set strong passwords and don’t share them with anyone.
    • Keep your operating system, browser, and other critical software optimized by installing updates.
    • Maintain an open dialogue with your family, friends, and community about Internet safety.
    • Limit the amount of personal information you post online and use privacy settings to avoid sharing information widely.
    • Be cautious about what you receive or read online—if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

    For tips and resources you can use and share throughout the year, visit the DHS Stop.Think.Connect. Toolkit and find resources for the following demographics:

    For more information on how to practice cybersecurity during National Cyber Security Awareness Month and throughout the year, visit Stop.Think.Connect.

    Secure 360 - Save the Date, Call for Presentations and Vendor/Sponsor Registration

    posted Oct 3, 2014, 9:15 AM by Erica Wirtz   [ updated Oct 3, 2014, 9:16 AM ]

    Save the dates! 
    May 12-13, 2015 
    St. Paul River Centre, St. Paul, MN

     Secure360 Conference call for presentations now open 

    Are you interested in speaking at the 2015 Secure360 Conference? 

    Call for presentations is now open!


    Submit a presentation to be considered for the conference. All submissions must be received by Thursday, November 13.  


    Secure360 Conference vendor/sponsor registration open


    Just a few of the benefits for becoming a sponsor/vendor for this year's conference include: 

    • Unopposed exhibit hall times
    • Lunch and refreshment breaks in the exhibit areas
    • An opportunity to participate in our mobile app activities
    • Advertisement opportunities
    • Pre and post-conference email blasts (for select sponsors)
    • Complimentary conference registration

    Learn more about becoming a sponsor or vendor here


    Proud to Announce SA Liz Lehrkamp receives Coordinator of the Year

    posted Sep 11, 2014, 5:21 PM by Erica Wirtz

    From our President, Elizabeth Stevens:

    On Monday, September 8, Special Agent Lizabeth Lehrkamp received the 2014 InfraGard Coordinator of the Year award from FBI Director James Comey at the InfraGard Annual Congress, held in Leesburg, Virginia.  The nomination was submitted by InfraGard Minnesota board member Vickie Miller, with input from the North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota chapter presidents, and chosen by an independent selection committee composed of current and former InfraGard board members and volunteers from across the country.  Fifteen Special Agent coordinators were nominated, far exceeding the number of nominations received for the honor in years past.

    The Coordinator of the Year award, one of seven national awards and the only one reserved for an FBI employee, was created at the request of InfraGard members to recognize the outstanding coordinators whose dedication and efforts have contributed to the advancement of the InfraGard program. Serving as awards emcee was David Pekoske, Chairman of the Board of the InfraGard National Members Alliance, who shared “Liz is known for her outstanding presentations, and her cyber threat updates are the highlight of chapter meetings.  She is committed to the success of the program, is a very strong motivator, and always recognizes the volunteer efforts.” 

    SA Liz Lehrkamp began her FBI career in 2005 as a Special Agent in Newark, New Jersey.  She was a recent addition to the FBI Minneapolis Division human intelligence squad, working cyber matters, when she presented The Current Threat to Our Cyber Infrastructure to the InfraGard Minnesota chapter in 2010.  A few months later, in May 2011, she assumed full coordinator responsibilities for the Minnesota, North and South Dakota InfraGard chapters.  

    On Monday I attended the annual InfraGard congress to serve as chapter delegate.  FBI Director Comey addressed the group and shared a strong message that outlined his focus for the Bureau.  He is 6’8” and projects the strength of the Washington Monument and the commitment of J. Edgar Hoover. Hearing him speak was the highlight of the day. He was more eloquent with his remarks on this partnership program, but I’d say in some ways, it’s like a marriage, in that “it takes two”.  As members, we’re the collective first half, and today InfraGard Minnesota is 800+ members strong. The Director’s comments about private-sector collaboration have me excited about the future of InfraGard, but at the chapter level, the FBI half of the marriage is really represented by the SA Coordinator.   Despite our 800:1 ratio, I suspect my fellow board and committee member volunteers would agree that Liz has contributed at least 50% of the efforts that have made this chapter successful for more than three years now. She’s driven, she’s smart, and she’s fearless.  The program has improved because of her many efforts, and this is well-deserved recognition.  Please take a moment to congratulate her at our meeting next Tuesday.


    Joint Critical Infrastructure Partnership Webinar Series

    posted Aug 19, 2014, 11:18 AM by Erica Wirtz   [ updated Aug 19, 2014, 11:19 AM ]

    The Department of Homeland Security and the Regional Consortium Coordinating Council (RC3) are hosting several upcoming webinars that address Preparedness; Cyber Security; and Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience.  InfraGard is currently a member of the RC3 Executive Committee and the RC3 is chaired by our former President, Chris Terzich.

    More information and registration links can be found in the flyer

    The Department of Homeland Security Office of Infrastructure Protection


    The Regional Consortium Coordinating Council (RC3)


    A Joint Critical Infrastructure Partnership Webinar Series

    Each hour-long session is designed to assist critical infrastructure owners and operators, physical security and information security professionals, Chief Information Officers, risk managers, business continuity planners, information technology directors, and local homeland security and emergency management staff in their efforts to enhance the preparation, security, and resilience of communities and their critical infrastructure assets.

    Preparedness: September 23 & 30, 2014

    Topics are designed to assist private industry and governmental partners and any other critical infrastructure practitioners in enhancing their preparation and resilience efforts:

    ·         Risk Management – Learn from a panel of Minnesota-based Critical Infrastructure practitioners that includes Grant Hosmer, Critical Infrastructure Coordinator for the City of Minneapolis, Glenn Sanders, DHS Protective Security Advisor for Minnesota, and the Downtown Security Executive Group, who will discuss infrastructure resilience-planning and threat assessment associated with large-scale public events such as the 2014 Major League Baseball All Star Game by leveraging public/private partnerships and strategically utilizing risk management tools and resources.

    ·         Training Resources – Christy Magee, Chief of the DHS/IP Stakeholder Education and Training Section, will review training offered by DHS/IP related to security awareness as well as foundational courses available to industry practitioners on critical infrastructure security and resilience.

    Register Today!


    Cybersecurity Awareness: October 21 & 23, 2014

    Topics provide background information about reviewing cyber resilience capabilities, improving information sharing, and evaluating security needs for protecting our local and regional cyber assets:

    • Awareness – Learn from the DHS Office of Cybersecurity and Communications how industry and government can serve as strategic partners in two national public awareness and cyber risk-management efforts (Stop-Think-Connect and the C3 Voluntary Program) that are aligning business enterprises and local governments to manage cyber risks, better understand cyber threats, and empower the American public to be safer and more secure online.
    • Assessment – Hear from industry and government practitioners who have successfully utilized cybersecurity exercises, cyber evaluations, or Cyber Resilience Reviews (CRRs) to improve cyber resilience.

    Register Today!  

    Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience: November 18 & 20, 2014

    Topics focus on tools and resources for improving the overall security of a critical infrastructure asset or facility:

    ·         Public/Private Partnerships – A panel comprised of representatives from industry and local government will share innovative best practices from public/private partnerships they have collaboratively developed related to critical infrastructure security and resilience.

    ·         Exercises – Learn from DHS and local critical infrastructure practitioners about scenarios and exercise plans that have been successfully developed to address the most salient threats to local communities, enhancing their ability to respond to and recover from all-hazard events.

    Register Today!  

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