Information Security Conference and Town Hall Meeting Set For March 27

Experts, Officials to Give Presentations Related to Information Security, Cyber-Terror, Bio-Terror and Identity Theft

Columbus State University and the Chattahoochee Valley Chapter of InfraGard will hold a 'Symposium on Information Assurance and Security,' 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, March 27 in the Davidson Student Center, Rooms 254-258.

In a related, same-day event, Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker will conduct a town hall meeting themed 'Stop Identity Theft,' at 7 p.m. in the Davidson Auditorium. Both programs are free and open to the public. The town hall meeting will provide information to consumers, law enforcement and businesses on what they can do to fight identity theft.

InfraGard is an FBI-led cooperative of businesses and state and local government agencies dedicated to protecting the nation's infrastructure including transportation, computer systems, and water and power supplies.

The symposium is designed to provide a forum for examining information systems threats, risks and approaches that organizations can use to make their information resources more secure. Additionally, an assessment related to the threat of bio-terrorism will be given by a local health administration official. The event is geared toward financial professionals who supervise information systems; computer information systems officers and auditors; attorneys; information technology educators and students; and government employees at all levels who are responsible for information systems security.

Schedule:
* 8:30 a.m. Registration
* 9 a.m.: Identity Theft - Steve Edwards, Georgia Bureau of Investigation
* 10 a.m. Information Technology Security Overview - Wayne Summers, CSU computer science professor/department chair
* 11 a.m. Information Technology Risk Assessment- Ken Halley of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
* 1:30 p.m. Introduction to InfraGard -S.A. Becknell, FBI Georgia Information Sharing and Analysis Center Overview Stephen Clark (of GISAC) Bio-Terrorism Overview - by Ed Hovis, bio-terror preparedness emergency event coordinator with West Central Health District in Columbus
* 7 p.m. 'Stop Identity Theft' Town Hall Meeting - Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker

Ed Bosworth, a CSU computer science professor, serves as vice president of the Chattahoochee Valley InfraGard chapter, which formed in 2002 and has attracted approximately 50 regional participants representing law enforcement, state agencies and corporations. He said the local organization was in the works prior to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. 'Sept. 11 focused attention to the routine day-to-day security issues that we had been in tune to.'

Atlanta is home to the state's only other InfraGard chapter. It formed in 1999, shortly after the national organization took form.

'Security has grown as a concern in computing over the past 10 to 15 years,' said Wayne Summers. Security risks intensified in the mid-1990s when the Internet took hold as a powerful tool for integrating machines with people around the world, he added.

In addition to information-security risks, the Internet also carries the threat for 'cyber terror' as hacker activity can ripple out into the physical world and disrupt telephone communications or banking transactions, or create disruption in others ways. An example, said Summers, was a recent 'sapphire worm' virus that crashed ATM machines for a period of time. In another, localized incident - at a Maine airport recently - hackers accessed the airport's computer system and turned off the runway lights.

For more information on the Symposium on Information Assurance and Security and the Stop Identity Theft town hall meeting, contact the CSU Computer Science Department at (706) 568-2410.

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Contact: Wayne Summers, 568-5037; E-mail: summers_wayne@ColumbusState.edu

Ed Bosworth, 565-4128; bosworth_edward@ColumbusState.edu