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Leadership Summit 2019: Living and Leading in a Connected World

By The Policy Circle Team

On Friday, November 15, engaged community members, Circle leaders, and influencers from across the country convened in Chicago for the 4th Policy Circle Leadership Summit. More than 350 women and men participated in conversations and workshops that encouraged  them to think about the broad implications of living and leading in a connected world while honing their leadership and engagement skills. The following is a recap from two morning sessions presented at the Summit. 


Quentella Enty, KFA

Lem Williams, Principal Partner CTX Capital Group, LLC

Admiral Mike Rogers, former head of the NSA

Gyndi Gula, Tenable Networks

How connected are we? Data is constantly being collected from people, things, and places on social media sites like Facebook, search tools like Google, GPS, health monitors, and even mobile deliveries. And for good reason: data can help us in anything from managing electric grid costs, to responding more quickly and accurately to emergencies, to providing better access and care to patients. 

Uniting our way of life with data is referred to as the Internet of Things – the connectivity of innovation, education, economic activity, and other vital services. To have this level of connectivity, we need reliable sources of power and reliable bandwidths to transport data. But we also need protection. Even as data and connectivity can provide us with a wealth of information at our fingertips, quickly, willingly, and sometimes without a second thought, we reveal information about ourselves in posts we share, photos we upload, links we click, and websites we visit. Albeit unintentionally, this exposes our data to advertisers, hackers, and even state-actors. 

Protecting our data is the key to keeping ourselves safe and making the most of our connectivity. This is not just on a personal level: we are all connected, and so cyber security is a personal, national, and international issue. Our government should keep national security a top priority when considering infrastructure vendors to implement 5G. Those who control the creation, distribution, and privacy of data will be in a unique position of power. 

How do we protect our data at home and in our businesses?

  • Update equipment. Stay up to date with the newest technology with the most reliable security features. 
  • Ask how data is used. It is fair to ask how your data is protected and whether or not it is being sold. 
  • Contact authorities. What policies does your organization, city, or state have in place when it comes to reporting or monitoring fraud, breaches, and threats?
  • Rethink passwords. Make passwords long and unique. Don’t repeat passwords or use personal information. Consider using a password manager, and immediately change a password if there has been a third-party breach.
  • Monitor social media. Check your privacy settings on your social media accounts, and watch geo-tagging or posting location on updates and photos. 
  • Be wary of phishing. Think before you click on links or attachments in emails from someone you don’t know, or in communications atypical of those you normally receive.

Take a look at the following additional resources:

Interested in diving deeper into cyber security, the Internet of Things, and the world of 5G? Take a look at The Policy Circle’s Digital Landscape Brief and more from the 2019 Policy Circle Leadership Summit. 

About The Policy Circle

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Founded in 2015, The Policy Circle provides a fact-based, nonpartisan framework that inspires women living in the same community to connect, learn about and discuss public policies that impact every American. The Policy Circle’s vision is that women across the nation are connected and engaged in their communities, openly sharing their views and taking a leadership role in public policy dialogue on what human creativity can accomplish in a free market economy. 

In just four  years, The Policy Circle has grown to over 3,500 members in more than 296 Circles in 40 states and 3 continents. Based on organic networks of women, it is one of the fastest growing national organizations empowering women to gain the knowledge and confidence to become policy leaders.