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FIRST 2008 Conference

Asymmetry was once a harmless geometric term. But in the 21st century it has morphed into a frightening buzzword. It defines the fact that small cells of criminals, terrorists or malcontents can now wreak devastation out of all proportion to their size, bringing Internet-using organisations to their knees, holding them to ransom, invading national security systems, and paralysing or disrupting national service infrastructures.

The shields these malefactors shelter behind are territorial the way that laws, law-enforcement and the uses of the Internet itself play out in different ways in different nations. Terrorists, spies, phishing attackers, data thieves and vandals, far from being impeded by the frontiers which were once bulwarks of security, now use them to evade detection and capture.

And corporations, too, need to be aware, when their enterprises go global, that the Internet may be a device which crosses frontiers, but it is not an instrument which changes human nature or local culture. The credits which off shoring and outsourcing bring to the balance sheet can be diminished by debit entries in the fields of ethics and safety.

So how can Internet security answer these challenges and transform itself technically, politically, legally and efficiently into a truly global force for good?

This is the key issue which will be debated at the 20th Annual FIRST Conference in Vancouver, Canada an appropriate location, given its position as a gateway between the Americas and Asia-Pacific.

In Vancouver the debate will evolve to cover, among other topics:

* How to connect to and work with law enforcers
* How to connect to and work with other Computer Security Incident Response Teams around the globe
* How to interact with Internet Service Providers
* How to tighten security while staying customer friendly

As the Internet burgeons into new marketplaces, and organisations avail themselves of the opportunities it presents to act and work globally, so the asymmetric threat deepens, its implications become more sinister, and there is an imperative need for all those who have a practical, commercial, legal or technical interest in advancing worldwide security to join FIRST in Vancouver.

You do not need to be a member of FIRST to attend the 20th Annual Conference. Any incident response and security team or security professional who has responsibility for coordinating how an organisation responds to digital security incidents should be there. And the conference will also be of interest to:

* technical staff who determine security product requirements and implement solutions
* policy and decision makers with overall security responsibility
* law enforcement staff who are involved in investigating cyber crimes
* legal counsel who work with policy and decision makers in establishing security policies
* senior managers directly charged with protecting their corporate infrastructure
* government managers and senior executives who are responsible for protecting systems and critical infrastructures.

Past participants at conferences have included IT managers, system and network administrators, software and hardware vendors, security solutions providers, ISPs, telecommunication providers and general computer and network security personnel.

The 20th Annual FIRST Conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver. A block of rooms is being held for conference attendees at a discount rate of $195 USD. These rates will be honoured three days before and three days after the official meeting dates, based on availability. To receive the discount rate, you must make your reservation prior to June 4, 2008, and mention that you are attending the FIRST Computer Security Conference. Reservation requests received after June 4 will be accepted on a space and rate availability basis. To make your reservation, please contact the hotel prior to June 4, 2008.

You can register through this URL (opens in new tab).

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.