"We're targeting organizations with under 500 employees, specifically ones without full-time IT professionals," says Alicia Clay, project program program manager at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, one of the sponsors. Other sponsors are the National Infrastructure Protection Center of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Small Business Administration.

Emphasis is on helping owners identify cost-effective security products, processes and services that can help them keep their information technology systems safe. One-day workshops will be held Aug. 2 at SBA's local district office in San Francisco, and Sept. 26 at the John Marshall Law School's Center for Information Technology and Privacy Law, in Chicago. For registration information see http://csrc.nist.gov/securebiz.

hree federal agencies that fight crime, promote business and regulate the standards of commerce are co-sponsoring a series of computer and information security workshops for small businesses.