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Information Technology Update

The Email Bulletin of the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce IT Committee

In This Issue

About the IT Committee
IT Olympics Event Planned
Next Meeting Agenda Items
“Avoiding Computer Virus Risk Part1”
Briefing Scheduled for January
IT Committee Calendar
“Understanding Network Security Risks” Scheduled for April
Contact Us

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  1. About the IT Committee
  2. The mission of the GNHCC IT Committee is to provide business information technology expertise to the Chamber, and to sponsor business community IT activities that advance the Chamber’s mission throughout the South Central Connecticut region.

    The Committee sponsors several IT educational events during the year, advances an IT agenda for the region for the Chamber, sponsors a local IT college scholarship, and serves as an advisor on IT issues to the Chamber of Commerce leadership. Committee members include IT leaders from local colleges and universities as well as the business community.

    General Meetings and Specific Business Briefing Technology Events

    Six meetings are held per year and six IT educational events of interest to members are scheduled and held annually. The activities of the IT committee provide a channel for technology-minded members to participate actively within the Chamber. The Committee structures each IT seminar topic to be of interest to the broadest possible business audience. Each IT Business Briefing event is focused on addressing the IT educational interests of all Chamber members while building the broadest possible membership base.

    The IT Committee newsletter goes out each month by email. You may subscribe by visiting and viewing the Chamber IT Committee pages under the ‘Community’ menu item.

    NewTech President Dan Mezick Chairs the Chamber’s IT Committee.

  3. IT Olympics Event Planned
  4. The IT Committee is running a programming competition open to high school students from the regional towns within the Chamber’s territory. These towns include Bethany, Branford, Cheshire, East Haven, Guilford, Hamden, Madison, Milford, New Haven, North Branford, North Haven, Orange, Wallingford, West Haven, and Woodbridge.

    The competition sends at least one student to Gateway Community College for a year. New Technology Solutions is the presenting sponsor. The five remaining sponsorship opportunities provide some community great exposure from this event. We anticipate coverage by the New Haven Register, WTNH and other local media. The Chamber will present the scholarship awards in July at the annual Chamber Golf Classic. The competitive IT Olympics event will be held in March and April in North Haven

    “This is a great scholarship, in part because demand for skilled IT workers is very high in the New Haven region,” explained Dorsey Kendrick, President of Gateway Community College. “This Chamber scholarship provides a true opportunity for deserving high school students who can demonstrate a knack for information technology. Access to a college education is a necessary ingredient for success in the working world. This scholarship provides that and we are pleased the Chamber is sponsoring this competition.”

    The scholarship competition starts with an application and qualifier event, followed by competitive heats and a final competition. Candidates perform simple programming tasks to advance to the final. Every participant gets a tee shirt and other take-aways printed with sponsor logos. During the competitive event, completed tasks are timed, and graded on completeness, time to completion, and originality of solution.

    “This is going to be a lot of fun,” explained Dan Mezick, Chairman of the Chamber IT Committee. “I expect we are going to get some pretty interesting kids involved in this scholarship.”

    Candidates must be high school students from any of the towns covered by the Regional Chamber: Bethany, Branford, Cheshire, East Haven, Guilford, Hamden, Madison, Milford, New Haven, North Branford, North Haven, Orange, Wallingford, West Haven, and Woodbridge.

    We expect to the event to be widely covered by the local media and this coverage provides a great sponsorship opportunity for Chamber members. The Chamber will actively promote the event, and sponsorships are available in amounts as little as $1000. We are limiting the number of sponsors to just six, ensuring your company logo will get great exposure in the New Haven County marketplace. This is the 1st annual and sponsors this year will get priority at next year’s event.

    Please email to receive a sponsorship packet.

  5. Next Meeting Agenda Items
  6. Any member of the Chamber may attend general IT Committee meetings. The next general meeting is scheduled for January 22 from 3-4 PM. This meeting will cover the following agenda items:

    1. IT Olympics Organization and Logistics: Judges, Communications, Support for Sponsors, Administration of Event Qualifiers and Heats
    2. Computer Security. This has emerged as the #1 front-burner issue for businesses of all sizes. We will cover how to best present business briefings on computer security to Chamber membership in 2002.

    Please RSVP for each meeting by calling 239 6874 x102 and leaving your name, phone number, and business name. You must be a Chamber member to attend IT Committee general meetings.

  7. “Avoiding Computer Virus Risk” Briefing Scheduled for January
  8. If your computers were down for three or more days, what would this cost your business? Recently, the “NIMDA” computer virus disabled the PCs of hundreds of businesses-- at a cost estimated in the billions. “NIMBA will likely cost 5 billion by the time we are done cleaning up,” explained Dan Mezick, President of New Technology Solutions (North Haven, CT). “This is a top-line business issue for every business that uses computers in ANY way.”

    Viruses have the potential to seriously disrupt your business, and at enormous cost. The virus named CodeRed alone caused an estimated 2.6 billion in cleanup and lost productivity costs, according to COMPUTERWORLD magazine.

    The IT Committee of the Chamber is hosting a special seminar that presents what you need to know to understand and hopefully avoid computer viruses of all kinds. If you use email or Instant Messenger at work, you must attend this seminar to learn how to protect your business. Many new viruses exploit Instant Messenger transmissions to replicate themselves worldwide.

    The event is scheduled be held January 22. The first 40 seats are reserved for Chamber members only. The remaining 20 seats are available to non-members on a first-come, first-served basis. Please RSVP for each meeting by calling 239 6874 x102 and indicating your Chamber membership status, event name and date, your name, phone number, and business name. Topics covered include:

    1. Virus Consequences in Dollars and Cents
    2. How they Work: Worms, Trojan Horses, and Email
    3. Preventative Measures
    4. Handling the Threat: Virus Protection Software
    5. Know-How You Need to Avoid Virus Risk
    6. Summary and Q&A

  9. IT Committee Calendar
  10. IT Committee events are held the 4th Tuesday of the month. The following is the calendar of the Chamber’s IT Committee through April:

    January 22 3-345PM IT Committee general meeting

    January 22 4-5PM Avoiding Computer Virus Risk Briefing- part 1

    February 26th- 4-5PM Avoiding Computer Virus Risk Briefing- part 2

    March 26th- 3-345PM IT Committee general meeting

    April 23- Tech Briefing Understanding Network Security Risk to Your Business

  11. “Understanding Network Security Risks” Scheduled for April
  12. Downtime can cost your business one thousand dollars per computer per day. If you are connected to the Internet, you are using a computer vulnerable to intrusion by destructive “hackers”, rogue computer programmers that try to break into your computer. Often, unknown to you, your computer can be leveraged to launch destructive “denial of service attacks” aimed at specific web sites. Such attacks use your computer, unknown to you, to generate tremendous amounts of web site traffic intended to deny service to the legitimate users of the targeted web site.

    The hacker world is the truly “dark side” of technology. A simple search engine query can point you to web sites with software tools and plans used to create denial of service attacks and destructive viruses. Anyone with decent programming skills can create a destructive software object.

    The threat to your networked computers is continuous and severe. This is because new variants appear daily, designed to defeat preventative measures. Many destructive programmers probe operating systems and other software for weaknesses that can be exploited by destructive viruses and programs.

    If your office contains a network server connected to the Internet, it is, by definition, a target for hackers. Such hackers use the unique ‘Internet Protocol” (IP) address of your office server to access it by name and cause all sorts of problems. “Firewalls” are server-based software and hardware systems designed to prevent these intrusions. If your office server is compromised, you can expect your email, internet access, and shared files to be inaccessible for several days, or perhaps even permanently erased.

    In April, the IT Committee of the Chamber presents “Understanding Network Security Risks”, intended for business people with little or no technical background. Topics include risk assessment, preventative measures, web site attacks, and how to protect your business data. After this one-hour briefing, you will understand:

    1. How to Assess Your Network Security Risks
    2. How to Prevent Loss of Business Data
    3. How to Use Firewalls and Virus Protection Software to Protect Yourself
    4. How to Configure Your Network to Minimize Security Risk

    Anyone who has experienced an Internet or email-based attack to file servers is well aware of how much these episodes cost a business. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure where network security is involved. If your business depends on an office server, you need to attend this briefing.

    The event is to be held April 23. The first 40 seats are reserved for Chamber members. The remaining 20 seats are available to non-members on a first-come, first-served basis. Please RSVP for each meeting by calling 239 6874 x102 and indicating your Chamber membership status, event name and date, your name, phone number, and business name.

  13. Contact Us
  14. The IT Committee contact information:

    Postal Mail:
    Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce IT Committee
    C/o New Technology Solutions
    432 Washington Avenue
    North Haven CT 06473
    (203) 239 6874 x102

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