Local InfraGard Meeting Examines Network Security

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Nov 23, 1999) — 
The Information Age has made a permanent mark on our lives. Even if you don't own a computer, you are still affected by them every time you shop, drive your car or even visit the doctor's office. But, did you know that this world of technology also affects your security?

Employers, businesses, hospitals and the government are moving toward computerized systems. If a hacker breaks into one of these systems, your personal security could be violated and so could the security of the government. This issue is not one to take lightly and requires proactive action. That's why the FBI and members of the public and private industry are attending the InfraGard meeting next week in Pickaway County, Ohio.

InfraGard is a national program that addresses both cyber and physical threats to security. The FBI's Central and Southern Ohio InfraGard Chapter -- which encompasses 48 Ohio counties including those in Central Ohio -- will hold its first meeting from 1 to 4 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 29 at Deer Creek Park in Pickaway County. More than 200 members of the public and private sector, the FBI and academic community will attend to work collaboratively on how to handle issues related to network intrusion and system vulnerability. The conference is sponsored by the FBI's National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC), the FBI's Cincinnati Division, the FBI's Central and Southern Ohio InfraGard Chapter, OSC (Ohio Supercomputer Center), The Ohio State University Extension and Bank One.

"It is important for us to be proactive about network security," said Charlie Bender, executive director of OSC. "Effectively protecting our computer systems protects our families from dangerous situations."

Monday's meeting is about sharing information. Attendees will talk about how to report actual or attempted intrusions, disruptions, and vulnerabilities of information. They will also discuss protective measures and strategies that reduce risks to information and infrastructure security.

The National InfraGard program was founded as part of the 1996 Executive Order 13010, "Critical Infrastructure Protection." This order directed the FBI to identify and coordinate existing infrastructure protection expertise inside and outside the Federal Government.

For more information on participating in this meeting, contact Cincinnati FBI Supervisory Special Agent Roger Wilson at 513/421-4310. Contact your local FBI office for more information on joining InfraGard.

OSC became involved in the InfraGard project through its Free-Net initiative. The Greater Columbus Free-Net was founded in 1994 to ensure that all citizens have access to the information superhighway. This outreach project of The Ohio State University and OSC serves Franklin and surrounding counties in Central Ohio by providing free, text-based Internet service and an online community information system.