Companies and individuals have less than a month left to take part in crafting a federal cyber security policy.
On Sept. 18, one year after the Nimda virus attacked computers worldwide, the White House released a draft of a report that outlines threats to security and recommendations to fix them.
The Colorado Software and Internet Association is urging its members to take the time to read the report and make comments before the Nov. 18 deadline.
"This is more than a report to the president," said CSIA Executive Director Cathy Ewing. "The National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace will make recommendations for laws, regulations and policies throughout the federal government."
Private industry has developed and owns most of the IT infrastructure in the United States. But government is responsible for national security.
"The cyber security issue is unique because the Internet and telecommunications infrastructure are not owned or controlled by any one entity, and, as a result, business, government and education are all responsible for working together to create effective security solutions," Ewing said.
Since Sept. 11, 2001, cyber security has become an increasingly hot topic. It came up again Tuesday, kicking off the first day of the two-day Denver ITEC event at the Colorado Convention Center.
Keynote speaker Valerie McNevin, the state director of security and privacy, began by stressing that security is an ongoing process.
As technology has become more widespread and sophisticated, cyber criminals have grown up. Threats no longer come from mischievous kids trying to see what they can do. Instead, she said, groups such as the Russian mafia and Colombian drug cartels have sophisticated technologists looking to make money from crimes such as identity theft and credit card fraud.
Businesses and individuals must be constantly aware of the latest fixes for the newest threats cyber criminals devise, she said.
Awareness of potential threats must lead to a culture of security, she said, where everyone works together to build a safe and secure electronic environment.
A copy of the draft can be downloaded at www.whitehouse. gov/pcipb. After each section, readers can click a button to give feedback on that section.