ITAA Forms Advocacy Group to Address Information Security

New initiative to promote importance of IT security education.

The Information Technology Association of America has formed a new security task force to act as a liaison between government agencies and the private sector, touting to both parties the importance of security knowledge and education in the effort to protect systems from potential information-based attacks.

Called the Security Workforce Advisory Group, the organization hopes to be able to speed the process of developing a consistent set of standards and policies for IT security.

Jeff Recor, chairman of the Security Workforce Advisory Group, says, "We're going to be the glue that gets everybody to work together."

The group's first project will be to perform an analysis of the current state of training and higher education programs related to information security. Recor says the results of that analysis will be available in late January or early February 2003. In turn, he says, the group will make recommendations and launch a series of new programs to address specific problem areas.

Improving security education is a key goal of the project. According to Recor, there is a worldwide scarcity of qualified individuals to teach information security. He says the group aims to provide information to individuals and companies alike on where to get proper security education.

ITAA established this new program as a direct response to the White House's recently announced National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace, which urges federal agencies, the private sector and Congress to collaborate on shoring up America's IT infrastructure. Recor says ITAA is positioning itself as a leader of this effort by forming an advocacy group specifically around security.

Recor says the group will be on Capitol Hill in January briefing new congressmen and senators on the state of IT security in America. After that, the briefings will continue on a quarterly basis. He says the group will be working closely with National Security Agency to help develop security education programs.

According to Recor, ITAA is uniquely positioned for this effort, as it already has an established relationship with the government as an advocacy group for other IT-related issues, and he's hopeful the group will be successful. "I didn't want to put forth my time and effort into this if we weren't going to be able to accomplish something."

The Security Workforce Advisory Group is expected to officially announce a list of representative companies in the coming weeks. Recor describes the group's supporters as a "who's who" of IT organizations, including such industry heavyweights as Microsoft Corp., Nortel Networks Limited and Sun Microsystems Inc.

About the Author

Matt Migliore is regular contributor to He focuses particularly on Microsoft .NET and other Web services technologies. Matt was the editor of several technology-related Web publications and electronic newsletters, including Web Services Report, ASP insights and MIDRANGE Systems.