Web to carry Security Ed 101

"Our basic purpose goes back to what the 1987 Computer Security Act said and
that's to have all federal users and vendors trained appropriately in security," said
John Tressler, the Education Department's computer security officer.

"Unfortunately many agencies have struggled to find the resources and commitment
from top management to do the kinds of training people need. We want to minimize the
costs, while maximizing the return on investments," he said.

Known as the Interagency Information Technology Security Institute, Tressler said this
new training initiative is designed to deliver various agency security training materials
via a central World Wide Web site. Agencies will review the different tools as well as
download generic versions of educational software and modify it to suit their training

"We'll take everything we can get our hands on, along with policy guidelines,
and develop it on one Web site where agencies can pick up things for their own use.

"This has the potential to provide just-in-time learning at the desktop,"
Tressler said. "To the extent that we can, we'll try to make a tailored product into
a generic product for all agencies. Our intent is to get to one site that works across

The institute has secured about $530,000 in seed money from the IT Innovation Fund
managed by the Government IT Services Board. Tressler said Education is serving as the
lead agency for the project.

Tressler is working with representatives from the departments of Defense, Justice and
Treasury, along with NASA and the General Services Administration, to draft a charter,
identify training tools and coordinate work among agency webmasters.

The institute still maintains its fledgling stages, Tressler said, and it will be
several months before assignments and posting dates are set. But all agencies are welcome
to participate, and information about accessing the Web site will be made available soon.

"As we get further into the development there will be a Web contact. But we
don't have all the charter issues settled yet," Tressler said. "We're looking to
get a good mix of agencies. If you have any ideas or resources or staff to offer, you're
welcome to join."

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