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COMPUTER USERS: IS YOUR DATA AT RISK? ACM ANNOUNCES FIFTH ANNUAL COMPUTER SECURITY DAY

 COMPUTER USERS: IS YOUR DATA AT RISK?
 ACM ANNOUNCES FIFTH ANNUAL COMPUTER SECURITY DAY
 NEW YORK, Nov. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- On Dec. 1, 1992, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) will observe the fifth annual Computer Security Day, an effort to alert computer users at all levels that as computer networks grow, they become more vulnerable to unauthorized access, viruses and disaster. Computer Security Day stresses that MIS managers, computer network users and individual owners all need to take precautions to ensure their data is safe.
 "Computer security is a serious matter," said Lee Ohringer, Computer Security Day chair, "but it is not top-of-mind with the majority of computer users. By observing Computer Security Day, companies and individuals are made aware -- on this day -- that there are simple steps one can take to help secure data. Hopefully, they will continue to practice the techniques we advocate."
 As computer networks continue to grow, and data security becomes an even greater issue, a number of computer industry leaders have come together to sponsor Computer Security Day and stress the importance of securing data. The sponsors of this year's Computer Security Day are the Association for Computing Machinery, The Boeing Company, CMP Publications (Information Week), Deloitte & Touche, Digital Equipment Corp., Ernst & Young, Hewlett Packard, Unisys, UNIX System Laboratories, I4 of SRI, ISSA, and ITAA.
 No One Is Safe
 Computer viruses, computer theft and unauthorized access have serious repercussions and have cost companies millions in lost data. And, according to the ACM, no organization or person is completely safe.
 "Even Gen. Norman Schwartzkopf's portable computer -- containing the plans for the January 1991 invasion of Iraq -- was stolen during the Desert Shield operation," Ohringer continued.
 Other examples of breaches of computer security include:
 -- The First Interstate Bank of California came close to losing $70 million as the result of a bogus request to transfer funds over the automated clearinghouse network. It was detected and canceled only because it overdrew the account.
 -- Losses from automatic teller machines (ATMs) are numerous -- including a $350,000 theft that bypassed both user authentication and withdrawal limits to $140,000 lost over one weekend due to a software bug.
 What You Can Do
 To help people observe Computer Security Day, the ACM is offering a free brochure, "300 Ways To Develop Your Computer Security and Contingency Planning," that spells out ways to protect data and avoid "data disaster," and a free poster to hang in computer areas. Some tips from the ACM on how to observe Computer Security Day include:
 -- Assess your exposure to hackers and viruses
 -- Develop procedures to be followed in the event of a natural disaster -- test them
 -- Change passwords often
 -- Examine your exposure to a suit for unlawful use of software
 -- Update and publish existing security policy
 -- Back up your data; review procedures
 -- Check and install power surge protection
 -- Hold a mini training session on security for all computer users
 The Association for Computing Machinery is the oldest and largest not-for-profit educational and scientific computer organization in the industry today.
 For more information on how to observe Computer Security Day and protect your computer system, and how to get a copy of the ACM's poster and "300 Ways To Develop Your Computer Security and Contingency Planning" write to: Computer Security Day Committee, P.O. Box 39110, Washington, D.C., 20016.
 -0- 11/9/92
 /CONTACT: Jim Adams or Gordon Smith of ACM, 212-869-7440, or Michele Macauley of Kahn Communications Group, 212-889-0202, for ACM/ CO: Association for Computing Machinery ST: New York IN: CPR SU:


CK-PS -- NY032 -- 8600 11/09/92 10:27 EST
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Date:Nov 9, 1992
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