Cyber Security Threats Discussed at InfraGard Meeting

InfraGard-robotOver 100 people packed Fountainhead College of Technology's Auditorium to learn about cyber security threats to the region and nation during Knoxville's bi-monthly InfraGard meeting on February 10, 2011. FBI Special Agent Brent Watkins led InfraGard members and the public in a discussion of recent cyber threats to the nation's critical cyber infrastructure, stating that these daily intrusions are America's most serious economic and national security challenge. Watkins noted a growing gap in this country's trained network security and digital forensics experts, especially as other countries such as China and India are ramping up their training of computer professionals.

Also present was the Knoxville Police Department's Bomb Squad who invited the audience to view their mission-critical truck and high-tech, robotic android, nicknamed "Little Eddy," that is deployed in high-risk situations. Armed with an X-ray scanner and full communications gear, the robot allows KPD officers to handle and disarm explosive devices at a safe distance.

InfraGard is the nation's largest volunteer organization dedicated to critical infrastructure protection, and the East Tennessee InfraGard Chapter meets at Fountainhead College of Technology every other month to survey the latest developments in the field and share ideas on keeping our region safe. A recent report revealed that 75% of Internet users in the US have been the victim of cybercrime, including viruses and identity theft.

In early March, Fountainhead College students will compete against IT teams from throughout the region in the 2011 Southeast Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition in Kennesaw Georgia. Competing cyber defense teams will be scored based on their ability to detect and respond to outside threats to an existing commercial network. Teams score points by protecting mail servers and web servers, responding to business requests, and balancing security needs against business needs.

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