WASHINGTON – Small businesses around the country can take advantage of free computer security workshops to help strengthen their information security, determine their readiness against security breaches and safeguard their business information from computer attacks.

The U.S. Small Business Administration, Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s InfraGard will conduct a series of workshops on information security threats and solutions designed for small businesses. The Sacramento workshop will take place Tuesday, August 7, 2012.

This joint federal partnership promotes information security training and computer protection for the nation’s small business community and will help to identify information security vulnerabilities that can put small businesses at risk and the protective tools and techniques used to assess, maintain and guard their information and systems.

The protection of sensitive data such as business invoices, payroll records, client and employee data and other proprietary information is essential to a company’s success.  A computer failure or other system breach could undermine a company’s reputation, expose it to costly recovery expenses, and disrupt the business’ overall operation.

Small business owners will learn how to protect themselves from intentional attacks or unintentional damage, guard themselves from decreased productivity caused by security breaches and evaluate the needed security tools and techniques.  Participants will also learn useful and practical steps to take to protect their business’ operations.

In addition, business owners often cannot afford extensive programs or a full-time expert in information security.  The computer security workshops will help educate business owners on potential weaknesses and the corrective actions to take.

For additional information on the computer security workshops, including local area registration information, visit online at http://csrc.nist.gov/groups/SMA/sbc/workshops.html#dates.

The 2012 computer security workshops include the following cities (The locations marked TBD and TBA will be updated online with confirmed dates and times at http://csrc.nist.gov/groups/SMA/sbc/workshops.html#02):