Tulsa, OK — Richard Clarke, National Security Council member at the White House and President Clinton’s coordinator for security and counter-terrorism, is one of 20 speakers from government and industry who will travel to The University of Tulsa for a workshop Sept. 27-29 on securing the national computer and telecommunications infrastructure from terrorist and information warfare attacks.
Also speaking at the “Telecommunications and Information Security Workshop” will be John S. Tritak, director of the Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office of the U.S. Department of Commerce; Michael Jacobs, deputy director of information systems security for the National Security Agency; and Harris Miller, president of the Information Technology Association of America in Arlington, Va.
Luncheon and dinner speakers will include Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating, Tulsa Mayor Susan Savage and retired Gen. Dennis J. Reimer, director of the Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism in Oklahoma City. A Medford native, Reimer was chief of staff of the U.S. Army from 1995 to 1999.
“The nation’s economy and government depend on both trustworthy telecommunications and information networks,” says Sujeet Shenoi, TU computer science professor and one of the workshop organizers.
Other organizers include the National Information Assurance Partnership, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and President Clinton’s National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee.
Information and communications technologies are among the most significant drivers of the global economy, accounting for $2.1 trillion in spending in 1999, says Shenoi. But the growing advantages of an interconnected world also brings greater risks. “Communications and information infrastructure protection and cybercrimes will be a huge challenge during the 21st century” he says.
“It’s plausible that in the near future, unless preventive steps are taken now, a rogue state or a disgruntled individual with enough hacker savvy could bring the nation’s banking or military infrastructure to its knees,” warns Shenoi.
“I am delighted that this conference, co-sponsored by Williams, is going to be held in Tulsa,” said Shenoi. “I hope it will help set our city and our state on the path to becoming a major force in telecommunications.”
TU was recently designated as a Center of Excellence in Information Assurance by the National Security Agency. The university’s Center for Information Security is charged with conducting research and outreach activities to address the technical challenges that must be overcome to safeguard the Internet. One of the center’s goals is to raise awareness of the legal and political aspects of information security.
Shenoi says the purpose of the workshop is “to identify the security issues and solutions emerging as telecommunications and information networks converge and support telephony and data services.”
Discussion topics include current telephony security research and the appropriate role of government in addressing these problems. Industry representatives will give their views on the emerging public and private infrastructures, and researchers will discuss fraud prevention, intrusion detection, privacy, and secure management schemes.
Among the speakers will be Kenneth Watson, manager of critical infrastructure protection for Cisco Systems of San Jose, Calif., a leader in networking for the Internet; Howard Schmidt, chief information security officer for Microsoft Corp, and Mark Bender, vice president and chief information officer with Williams Communications in Tulsa.
Also speaking will be William Mehuron, director of the Information Technology Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Md.; Guy Copeland, vice president for information infrastructure advisory programs at the Computer Sciences Corp. in El Segundo, Calif.; and Bonnie Hammersley, deputy director of critical infrastructure protection at the U.S. Department of Defense.
Individuals interested in registering or receiving additional information and registration, and telecommunications companies wishing to set up exhibits or demonstrations should contact Shenoi by e-mail at [email protected] .
A private institution with approximately 4,200 students, The University of Tulsa, located in Tulsa, Okla., is nationally recognized for its humanities-based undergraduate curriculum, engineering and natural sciences programs, and global initiatives.