InfraGard is not a deodorant

* Introduction to InfraGard

Contrary to the immediate reaction of the uninformed (and of the unwashed), InfraGard is not an underarm deodorant. InfraGard is a nationwide program in the U.S. that brings together representatives from IT departments in industry and academia for information sharing and analysis, especially to help protect critical infrastructure against cyberattacks and also to support the FBI in its cybercrime investigations and education projects.

The organization started in the Cleveland field office of the FBI in 1996 and expanded rapidly; now there are more than 11,000 members in more than 40 chapters.

At the InfraGard National Conference in Washington, D.C., in early August (a brochure is available), speakers offered a wide range of valuable presentations on security topics. Many of their presentation materials are now available to everyone for free download.

Topic areas include:

* First responders

* Regulatory compliance

* Computer forensics

* Cybersecurity

* Drinking water security

* Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems.

Joining InfraGard is easy and free for U.S. citizens residing in the U.S. You can locate a nearby local chapter and contact your chapter officers. You can get application forms online and then send them in to the FBI liaison officer for that chapter to be vetted for admission. The FBI conducts a background check to ensure that all members are likely to be trustworthy to participate in confidential discussions of threats and vulnerabilities. Chapters usually conduct regular local meetings and organize list-servers for exchange of information among members. Many have newsletters as well.

The Vermont InfraGard has organized useful (and enjoyable) activities such as public education campaigns in which dozens of members helped prepare, improve and deliver training materials to members of the public in many areas of the state.

InfraGard is a wonderful way of getting involved with other security experts and reaching out into the community. Join us!

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Copyright © 2005 IDG Communications, Inc.

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