More than 300 companies from around the country, including several from North Carolina and host state Georgia, will gather at NetWorld+Interop and COMDEX 2002, which will feature dealing with security threats as a cornerstone theme.

In these days of post 9-11 and ever increasing cybersecurity threats, the theme is no surprise.

The conference opens today and runs through Friday at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. In addition to security, the Atlanta event will focus on three other technology cornerstones – wireless, storage, and VoIP.

“NetWorld+Interop and COMDEX Atlanta 2002 will offer end-to-end technology solutions for today’s businesses, with a focus on education, technology demonstrations and a world-class exhibition,” says Jennifer Clark, a spokesperson for Key3Media, which is putting on the event.

At least three companies with ties to North Carolina will exhibit at Networl+Interop. They include network giant Cisco Systems, which has a large presence in Research Triangle Park; NetOctave, which is headquartered in RTP; and Cary-based Tangram Enterprise Solutions.

NetOctave builds security processors and security accelerator boards for a series of applications.

Tangram focuses on asset management software and solutions.

Host state Georgia features at least nine exhibitors at the event. All hailing from the metro Atlanta region, they are Accu-Tech Corporation, AppDancer Networks, Cingular Interactive, Cingular Wireless, Development Authority of Fulton County, Digital Envoy, eMag Solutions, Internet Security Systems and Telchemy.

Security, security, security …

NetWorld+Interop and COMDEX also will feature other top and emerging security technology companies, including Check Point, 2C Computing, Computer Associates, Intelligent Computer Solutions, Masterclock, Spirent Communications, Microsoft, NetScreen, ReefEdge, Avocent, Bluesocket, Sprint, Simplesoft and Vernier Networks.

The Atlanta event brings buyers and sellers of networking products, technologies and services together to do business, attend training seminars, and get hands-on demonstration of the latest in technology.

“Historically, East coast businesses have remained community oriented, and only a small number of these businesses travel outside of the region, but business technology professionals on the East Coast have an overwhelming need for mobile and wireless technologies, IT services and vertically focused software,” Clark says. “NetWorld+Interop and COMDEX Atlanta 2002 will provide them with the perfect marketplace to find what they are looking for.”

Among the highlights will be the “Security Zone”, where vendors will showcase vanguard technologies…from firewalls to encryption; authentication to virus protection; biometrics to VPN security. Additionally, the InteropNet Labs (iLabs) will feature the Wireless LAN Security Initiative, which will build a next generation, secured wireless network utilizing 802.1x, extensible authentication protocoland IPsec. These solutions are featured in an open environment staffed by industry engineers and in free iLabs classes offered throughout the conference.

A huge menu of classes and workshops are designed to teach defenses against unwanted digital intrusions. They include the Interop Conference Security track; InfoSecurity University, a feature of the COMDEX Business Technology Conference; the COMDEX Hard-Core Technical Conference, which features a full day of sessions on Windows .NET security; VPN Day 1 and VPN Day 2 to provide practical knowledge on building real-world IPsec-based VPNs; Strategic Interop, which features a session on implementing effective security; and Network Forensics Day, which introduces cutting-edge solutions to today’s most challenging network security issues from top network analysts from PMG NetAnalyst.

NetWorld+Interop and COMDEX also have partnered with the Technology Association of Georgia and Women In Technology (WIT) to present aday-long series of seminars to discuss current best practices, new technologies, and the wireless industry. The list of speakers includes executive women from LeapFrog, Siemens, XcelleNet and Worldspan.

“At NetWorld+Interop and COMDEX 2002 Atlanta, we strive to give attendees what they want,” Valerie Williamson, Interop brand president for Key3Media Events, said in a statement. “Our focus on security technologies will be pervasive throughout the event; on the exhibit floor, in the educational sessions and throughout the interactive technology pavilions and demonstrations on the InteropNet. This year’s show is ideally suited for technology buyers to access the most comprehensive contingent of security vendors, educational sessions, solutions and exhibits available at a single event.”

NetWorld+Interop and COMDEX: www.interop-comdex.com

NC and GA Firms Exhibiting:

Accu-Tech Corporation, wiring systems (Roswell, GA): www.accu-tech.com

AppDancer Networks, management software (Roswell, GA): www.appdancer.com

Cingular Interactive & Cingular Wireless, wireless (Atlanta): www.cingular.com

Digital Envoy, e-business and network security (Norcross, GA): www.digitalenvoy.net

eMag Solutions, data management (Atlanta): www.emaglink.com

Internet Security Systems, network security (Atlanta): www.iss.net

NetOctave, VPN and embedded security (RTP): www.netoctave.com

Tangram Enterprises Solutions, network management (Cary): www.tangram.com

Telchemy, management software (Suwanee, GA): www.telchemy.com