Baylor Information Technology Services Hosts Third Annual Cyber Day, Launches BearAware Campaign

October 14, 2019

Media Contact: Lori Fogleman, Baylor University Media and Public Relations, 254-710-6275
Libraries and ITS Contact: Carl Flynn, Baylor Libraries and ITS
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WACO, Texas (Oct. 14, 2019) – From phishing and malware attacks to data breaches and leaks, 2019 has seen many occurrences of cybercrime nationwide. As part of October’s National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, Baylor ITS will host its third annual Cyber Day Oct. 15-16 with the popular HackFest student competition and public forum, featuring industry experts discussing cybersecurity and ethics.

On Tuesday, Oct. 15, the HackFest portion of Cyber Day will take place at 6 p.m. in the Hankamer and Cashion Academic centers. HackFest provides an opportunity for the Baylor community to experience cyber threats from the inside, featuring escape room demonstrations, which is a new component this year, and a team competition. Participants will encounter common technological exploits in action and learn how to avoid being an easy target for hackers.

“This year’s Hackfest includes several new features such as coaching by industry professionals, expanded gameplay visualization and the escape room demonstrations,” said HackFest organizer Jeff Donahoo, Ph.D., professor of computer science in the School of Engineering and Computer Science. “Spectators are encouraged to cheer on participants who will one day be charged with defending the digital infrastructure on which we all depend.”

The HackFest escape rooms and demonstrations will be held in the lobby of the Hankamer Academic Center, 1428 S. Fifth St. The team competition will be held on the fifth floor of the Cashion Academic Center, 1401 S. Fourth St.

On Wednesday, Oct. 16, the public is invited to a forum with corporate cybersecurity executives, who will address current issues in cybersecurity and ethics. The session begins at 1:30 p.m. in Room 250 of the Paul Foster Campus for Business and Innovation, 1621 S. Third St. The featured panelists are:

  • Elton Fontaine, systems engineering director at Palo Alto Networks.
  • John Scimone, senior vice president, global chief security officer and resilience at Dell Technologies.
  • James Shira, network and U.S. chief information and technology officer at PwC.

“The forum will provide insights on upcoming cyber threats from industry leaders who sit at the forefront of cybersecurity operations,” said Jon Allen, assistant vice president and chief information security officer at Baylor. “It’s our hope that this session will raise cybersecurity awareness and provide helpful insight of the scope and potential impact of cybersecurity risks.”

In addition to Cyber Day activities, the University’s annual BearAware campaign runs in the background to support National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. BearAware, Baylor’s cybersecurity awareness initiative, develops informative, engaging content to promote security recommendations each October. This year’s campaign features mythical characters and superheroes from movie franchises, including Star Wars, The Avengers and Harry Potter.

“Our BearAware campaigns provide a fun and entertaining way to share cybersecurity tips with the Baylor community,” said Will Telfer, information security analyst at Baylor. “If we can get more people to check out our tips, more people will learn about cybersecurity and keep their computers and information safer than before.”

With the combination of Cyber Day and the BearAware campaign, the Baylor community will learn more about how to increase their online safety year-round.

For more information about Cyber Day, visit To learn more about BearAware and view past campaigns, visit


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.


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