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University hosts 5th annual Cyber Security Awareness Day

By Alec Jennings
University News Service
October 7, 2009

To promote security awareness and safe computing practices on campus and throughout the surrounding communities, the Department of Information Technology at Texas State University-San Marcos will host its 5th annual Cyber Security Awareness Day Oct. 14th, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the LBJ Student Center Ballroom.

Coinciding with National Cyber Security Awareness Month (October), the event will include a variety of activities and presentations from experts and sponsors in many of the top technology companies throughout the area.

"Anyone who uses a computer and accesses the Internet can benefit from attendance at this event and it costs nothing more than a little bit of one's time," said Donald Volz, special assistant to the vice president for Information Technology. "The speakers will share knowledge gained from years of experience with many security issues."

Lori McElroy, information security officer, Office of the Vice President for Information Technology, said that while faculty and students alike need access to a variety of information and communication websites important to the educational experience a modern university works to provide, cyber security on a college campus offers a variety of challenges.

"We encourage intercommunication, exploration and development among students and faculty," said McElroy. "Obviously, we have protections and controls in place, but with a policy more open to intercommunication, we may not have the restrictions in place that a private company, for instance, might have. Therefore we strive to provide a well-rounded security awareness program to all of our students, faculty and staff with various outreach opportunities such as Cyber Security Awareness Day."

Additionally, a vendor expo will be available with representatives from more than 10 top technology companies who will exhibit their products and services, discuss strategies, answer questions, and offer general community outreach. Furthermore, there will be a variety of prizes awarded including an online training preparation course for the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) exam which has been donated by keynote speaker, Dean Bushmiller, president, Expanding Security.

"We've always offered prizes of various types, but never one as unique and technology-focused as this class," said Volz. "CISSP classes are highly valued in the security community."

Interested and qualifying individuals can register online (http://security.vpit.txstate.edu/training/csad_2009/CISSP.html) for an opportunity to win the course valued at $2,500. Participants must be present to win.

Other speakers at the event will include Conrad Geiger of Sun Microsystems, Kent Woodruff of AirDefense, Brad Jensen of the Microsoft Corporation, Gary White of the Texas State Department of CIS, Joel Pridgeon with the Child Exploitation unit of the Austin Police Department, Michael Murray with Symantec, and Otto Glenewinkel of the University Police Department.

This event is free and open to the public. No registration is required to attend. For more information, please email itsecurity@txstate.edu or call (512) 245-4225. Further information about the event, its sponsors, presenters, a schedule of activities and more can be found at http://security.vpit.txstate.edu/training/csad_2009.html.