Published: Nov. 10, 2003

Vulnerabilities in the nation's information technology infrastructure have become a major societal problem, resulting in millions of dollars in lost productivity and resources in both the public and private sectors.

How businesses and government should respond to a myriad of viruses, worms and other security threats will be the topic of a half-day symposium Nov. 21 at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

"Cybersecurity: Industry and Government Perspectives on a Growing National Concern" will be held from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Discovery Learning Center at the College of Engineering and Applied Science. The symposium is free and open to the public but registration is requested to assist planning.

The symposium will include two panel discussions in which leaders in technology, business and law will discuss society's responses to cybersecurity threats. The first panel will focus on "Cybersecurity as a Business Problem" and explore changes that could help businesses deal efficiently with computer security. Panelists will include Rick Dakin, president of Coalfire Systems; Dave James, information technology officer at Guaranty Bank and Trust Co.; Ray Johnson, senior manager of IBM Global Services; Albert Oriol, security officer at Denver Children's Hospital; Robert Schnabel, associate vice chancellor for academic and campus technology at CU-Boulder; and Tom Lookabaugh, faculty director of CU's Interdisciplinary Telecommunications Program.

The second panel will focus on "Governmental Responses," including the question of whether federal or state governments should set security standards for software developers and service providers, and permit private citizens to enforce those standards through legal action.

Panelists will be Phil Gordon, a partner in the Denver law firm Littler Mendelson; Bill Hunt, vice president for policy at Level 3 Communications; Bill Mooz, senior director at Sun Microsystems; Douglas Sicker, professor of computer science and telecommunications at CU-Boulder; and Phil Weiser, CU professor of law.

The symposium is co-sponsored by the new interdisciplinary Computer and Communications Security Research and Education Center (CCSC) in the College of Engineering and Applied Science, and the Silicon Flatirons Telecommunications Program in the CU School of Law.

"We are looking at these problems from both technical and social perspectives to try to find a sustainable balance between economic growth and a secure cyber infrastructure," said CCSC Director and Professor Alexander Wolf.

CCSC was established this fall to advance the technologies of computer and communications security and the policies governing their proper development and use. The center involves 11 faculty from three departments on the Boulder campus who bring more than $6 million in research funding on security-related topics and nearly $1 million in external funding for educational programs.

Anyone who would like to attend the symposium is asked to send email to Laura Vidal at by Nov. 19 to register and receive free campus parking. For more information, visit the CCSC web site at