AusCERT2008 opens to a full house

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AusCERT's director Nick Tate kicked-off the AusCERT Asia-Pacific Information Security Conference today celebrating the organisation’s 15th birthday in front of more than one thousand local and international delegates.

With party balloons displayed throughout the exhibition floor and birthday party themed events spanning across the week, the celebration is well underway.

“[AusCERT’s] been going for 15 years since March which is why we thought it’s a great time to have birthday celebrations,” Tate said.

With festivities in full swing, Tate took a moment to highlight AusCERT's history and its independent role in the IT security industry.

"In 1992 there were some attacks going on [in Queensland Universities] and later on that year three universities including the University of Queensland, Griffith University and Queensland University of Technology set up Sert.

In 1994, Sert was renamed to AusCERT and commenced operation.

Today, AusCERT is based in the University of Queensland and according to Tate this allows it to be very, very, independent.

“We really don't carry any favour we tell it exactly as it is and that’s something we value. We try to push the boundaries, we don’t do what everybody else does."

Following him on stage, Graham Ingram, general manager at AusCERT introduced the primary themes of this year’s conference: security; privacy and the concept of the 'internet citizen'.

“The theme this year really is a reflection of something we’ve noticed in the past few years. The change in the environment of attacks, they are not going for the servers, they’re going for users and applications," he said.

Internet citizens are people who are using the Internet to conduct daily business, government duties and banking.

"So, how do we protect them?” Ingram asked. "People turn to us to answer these questions but at the moment we don't fully have the answers," he said.

He urged the delegates to explore and aggressively discuss the changing environment and question how to protect it.

Meanwhile, Ingram advocated the need for open dialogue between the security and privacy industry.

"Whenever we start talking about the Internet Citizen and their security we also have another group out there, the privacy advocates," he said.

"At this stage there’s very little connection between the two when I believe there’s a strong connection."
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