Proactive e-security

A major information technology association has announced a new cybersecurity initiative that will tap into the expertise of thousands of IT industry professionals to respond to online security threats

The Information Technology Association of America Thursday announced a new computer security incident response and advocacy program following this week's cyberattacks on many commercial Internet sites.

ITAA's E-Shield program will pull together the resources and experience of ITAA's more than 11,000 IT developers and suppliers to share information and work with law enforcement to combat and respond to incidents such as the current run of denial-of-service attacks launched against Yahoo, eBay, ETrade and buy.com.

The organization is working with the White House to coordinate the IT industry response to this week's attacks, according to an ITAA official.

There are five initiatives under the ITAA program:

* Responding to cyberattacks by creating a "tipline" for member companies to report attacks that will be relayed to the FBI and other law enforcement agencies.

* Educating the business and user communities by using the ITAA World Wide Web site to announce information and produce a monthly newsletter on security threats, risks, vulnerabilities and solutions. ITAA will also expand its series of information security conferences and briefings.

* Increasing ITAA's role as the sector coordinator for the IT industry under the administration's National Plan for Information Systems Protection.

* Pushing for legislation to support new training for law enforcement to respond to, investigate and prosecute cybercrimes and advocating additional funding for more IT security specialists throughout industry and government.

* Working to prevent future attacks by educating students and children on cyber-ethics through the joint ITAA and Justice Department CyberCitizen Partnership.

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