Recent viruses and worms, such as "Nimda" and "Melissa," have caused major destruction in many business computer network systems throughout the country. In response, the Department of Educational Outreach at Colorado State University is offering two seminars Nov. 9 and 16 that address the growing need in the business community for tools to combat damage to unprotected network systems.
Col. Robert Simmons, former deputy chief information officer for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will teach "Top 10 Threats to Network Security." Simmons will show participants how to eliminate major threats to their network security and will recommend specific steps for balancing user needs with security concerns.
Simmons was responsible for communications and network security at the Pentagon. Currently, he runs The ITeam, a company that provides information technology systems management, security and support to Colorado businesses.
Simmons suggests that companies that generate revenue or trade with partners over the Internet should protect their information systems from hackers and competitors through a DMZ, or demilitarized zone, which controls information flow by categorizing information on the network from a low to high level of confidentiality.
Another key problem for many businesses are "Trojan Horses" – or software programs that are installed on computer systems, through e-mail or the Internet, without the company’s knowledge. These programs may give outsiders access to important private information. Simmons will discuss ways that firewalls and other proven security measures can save business networks from being invaded.
"Clearly there is a potential for business networks to be attacked, causing damage to the entire system," said Simmons. "Companies can prepare by learning steps to protect their network in this environment."
The course is designed for small businesses and will cover physical security, protecting against viruses, firewalls, updating systems with patches, permission management and network structures. It will begin with demonstrations of sample attacks followed by steps to prevent the assault from disabling the company’s network system.
The course is geared toward managers and personnel responsible for network security within companies.
The seminars will be held from 8:30 a.m.- 4 p.m. at the Colorado State University Denver Professional Center, 110 16th St. The cost of the course is $497 for the one-day session and catered lunch.
For more information, contact the Department of Educational Outreach at (303) 573-6318 or register online at www.learn.colostate.edu.