Online symposium tackles security

Citing security as a major focus of its research this year, Public Technology Inc., in collaboration with the Public Entity Risk Institute, is offering a Web-based symposium this week about cybersecurity issues for local governments.

Each day, a paper written by a PTI member will be posted on the PERI Web site (www.riskinstitute.org/symposium.asp), followed by an electronic dialogue that will be moderated by Costis Toregas, president of PTI. The symposium, "Safe and Secure: CyberSecurity and Local Government," is free.

Papers to be released include:

* "What they don't know can't hurt you," presented today by Michael Armstrong, chief information officer of Des Moines, Iowa.

* "Overview of security issues," presented Feb. 5 by Randy Land, electronic communications coordinator, and John Krusemark, network security engineer, of Scottsdale, Ariz.

* "Security and privacy: A matter of trust," presented Feb. 6 by Judi Zito, director of electronic government, and Ira Feuer, chief information security officer, of Miami-Dade County, Fla.

* "Digital signature and encryption technology: What it means to local governments and citizens," presented Feb. 7 by Kevin Novak, e-government manager, of Montgomery County, Md.

* "Legislating Security" presented Feb. 8 by Des Moines' Armstrong.

Dale Bowen, PTI's director of online services, said the symposium would try to foster discussion on technological subjects as well as management issues and policies about security to encourage participation of city managers, elected officials and IT professionals. He said about 700 people had registered, but he said he was not sure how many people would take part in the electronic forum.

Bowen said PTI intended to present a follow-up discussion, based on the priorities that emerge from the symposium, at its annual conference in April in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Bowen said PERI has conducted several Web-based symposiums, but this is the first time that PTI has conducted such a project.

PTI (www.pti.org) is the nonprofit technology organization of the National League of Cities, the National Association of Counties and the International City/County Management Association. PERI (www.riskinstitute.org) is a nonprofit group that provides information about the practical enhancement of risk management to public and private sector groups.

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