Technology Association Responds to Cyber-Attacks

In the wake of a series of high profile denial-of-service attacks that have heightened public fears about the Internet and e-commerce, the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) has announced E-Shield, a campaign that is intended to counter online security breaches and attacks.

Working with a base of international direct and corporate affiliate members, ITAA’s E-Shield program is seeking to become an advocate group for related legislation, collaborate with the law enforcement community, provide business and user educational resources and create a line for gathering attack-related information.

“ITAA’s E-Shield program is a wall-to-wall response mechanism designed to harness effectively industry know-how, and appropriate government support, for the purpose of combating information security threats in the short, medium and long term,” commented ITAA president Harris N. Miller.

About ITAA

ITAA has indicated support for the current course of action being taken by the Department of Justice (DOJ). Attorney General Janet Reno presided at an FBI press conference Wednesday afternoon and promised to punish the perpetrators of the latest wave of electronic attacks with a possible penalty of 5 to 10 years in jail and up to a $250,000 (US$) fine.

The association also works in other areas of IT industry concern, including taxes and finance policy, intellectual property, telecommunications competition, workforce and education, encryption, critical infrastructure protection, online privacy and consumer protection, securities litigation reform, government IT procurement, and human resources policy. ITAA members are from the software, IT services, ASP, digital content, systems integration, telecommunications, and enterprise solution fields.

Online Security Firms Profit

While e-commerce titans and their patrons worried about further attacks this week, the stock prices of companies involved in the online security market surged and vendors found a new opportunity to pitch their wares.

“Nobody is safe from cyber vandals and their malicious cyber attacks, but e-Businesses are especially vulnerable because their survival depends on the ability to be available with zero interruption in service,” stated Nigel Turner, Computer Associates International, Inc. (NYSE: CA) senior vice president of product strategy. “It’s crucial that e-Businesses become aware of attack patterns early and respond to them in a proactive manner.”

The National Institute of Standards and Technology has recently warned about a possible increase in denial-of-service attacks, and feels that this week’s events could signal a new, dangerous trend. According to security experts, although the affected Web sites had impeccable security measures in place, less protected sites could have been complicit in the attacks by unwilling playing host to hacker/cracker exploitable scripts.

Experts are urging all e-commerce operations to examine their current security policies.

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