HOUSTON, Nov. 10, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge and over 100 professionals, including current and former state officials, Congress members, executive officers, U.S. business leaders, CPA partners and business advisors from across the nation gathered for alliantgroup's inaugural Technology, Economic, Legislative & Policy Summit—an exclusive event created for the benefit of the firm's clients and CPA and industry partners.
During the two day conference, attendees were treated to a series of panels covering some of the most critical issues facing U.S. policymakers. Such topics included the impact of technology on the American workforce, the growing importance of cybersecurity, recent tax reform legislation and policy reforms that would foster a more technically skilled labor force and sustainable economic growth.
During the conference's keynote panel, former Secretary Ridge was joined by alliantgroup CEO Dhaval Jadav and the leaders of several technology alliances. With the advancement of new technologies and the Internet of Things making our world more connected, Ridge and the panel stressed how cybersecurity must become a primary focus for both the public and private sectors. The panel emphasized that while these new technologies have improved our overall quality of life and enhanced the efficiency of countless industries, from manufacturing to healthcare services, the growing connectivity of individuals, systems and networks has made the country more susceptible to cyberattacks.
"For every digital connecting point, there is a potential for vulnerability. And it can be exploited," said Ridge.
Drawing on his experience as the first leader of the Department of Homeland Security, Secretary Ridge further laid out how the nature of threats to the U.S. has changed, with the focus moving from physical threats from nation states and individual actors to these same actors conducting cyber warfare. He stressed that these cyber-attacks could wreak potentially catastrophic damage on our economy and national security.
"There is a greater threat today in my judgement of a cyberattack causing economic damage and potential personal injury and death than even a physical attack," said Ridge.
During the panel, Ridge and the other technology experts highlighted the importance of maintaining good safety protocols to identify and prevent attacks, from standardized employee procedures to ensuring firewalls and other security systems were up to date. The panel also stressed the importance of employees to maintain these best practices and to exercise good judgement.
"I would like to thank Secretary Ridge and everyone who took the time to attend this event," said Dhaval Jadav, alliantgroup CEO. "Our goal in hosting these conferences is to provide thought leadership to our CPA firms and the businesses they serve. By providing them with the information they need to stay ahead of emerging economic and policy trends, it is our hope that we are offering another avenue to ensure their continued success."
Those in attendance included former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns, former Alabama Governor Bob Riley, former U.S. Congressman Rick Lazio, former Senior Counsel to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee Dean Zerbe, Private Equity and M&A Advisor Neeraj Mital, former IRS Commissioners Mark W. Everson, Steven Miller and Kathy Petronchak, and alliantgroup CEO Dhaval Jadav.
alliantgroup is a leading tax consultancy and the nation's premier provider of specialty tax services. The firm assists U.S. businesses and their CPA advisors in properly identifying and claiming all federal and state tax incentives that were designed for their benefit. These incentive programs were created to help American businesses grow and remain competitive in an increasingly global economy. To date, alliantgroup has helped 12,000 U.S. businesses claim over $6 billion in tax savings. For more information on alliantgroup, please follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.