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April 2004
Today's technologies have made communication and collaboration between organizations much easier. But these same technologies may also put sensitive information at greater risk of compromise, creating the need to combine strong information protection and security with flexible data-sharing practices.

This is one of the issues government leaders will be discussing when they converge at the First National Summit on Critical Information and Communications Infrastructure, a pioneer initiative of the Philippine government to safeguard vital data and infrastructure from external attacks. The summit, slated on April 15 and 16 at the Edsa Shangri-la Hotel, aims to provide technical training for security and protection of critical cyber infrastructure as well as formulate much-needed security policies and guidelines.

Dubbed "Managing a Cyber Safe Philippines," the summit will cover various ICT security concerns such as updates on major government security programs, projects, laws and policies. Emerging ICT technology applicable to government processes and systems will be presented. Global trade and security, the role of the public and private sectors, and strategies for developing and maintaining a secure ICT infrastructure will also be discussed.

The summit is presented by the Task Force for the Security of Critical Infrastructure (TFSCI) and the Chief Information Officers Forum, which consists of about 200 chief information officers in the government sector. An estimated 500 participants from the government and private sector are expected to attend.
Executive Secretary Alberto Romulo and National Security Adviser Secretary Norberto Gonzales will be the keynote speakers for the two-day event. Other speakers include TFSCI Undersecretary Abraham Purugganan; ICT Commission Chairman Virgilio Peña; Philippine National Police General Enrique Galang; and US Embassy Legal Attaché Stephen Cutler. Various luminaries from the ICT field will also be speaking in the summit.

"The event serves as a venue for public and private sector collaboration on putting forward the concern for infrastructure assurance," said Fred Torres, President of the CIO Forum. "The components of the nation's infrastructure -from telecommunications to water distribution and health systems - are highly dependent on ICT for the operation of its mission critical systems. The level of security of this infrastructure greatly impacts our nation's defense, economic stability, and standard of living, hence, any breach in the ICT infrastructure would adversely affect national development."

"Managing a Cyber Safe Philippines" is sponsored by Microsoft Philippines, Globe Telecoms/Innove Communications, Computer Associates, Sterling, Mobile Arts, Microdata, INQ7, ComputerWorld and Yehey.

The Task Force for the Security of Critical Infrastructure (TFSCI) was created in September 2003 under the administration's Cabinet Oversight Committee for Internal Security that safeguards the country's infrastructures from terrorist attacks. TFSCI is tasked to develop policies and strategies that will reduce the country's vulnerability and enable effective prevention, response, mitigation, and recovery.
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