Thursday, August 7, 2008

UIS to host workshop on cybersecurity for small businesses

The Computer Science department at the University of Illinois at Springfield will host a half-day workshop designed to help small businesses recognize and address potential threats to their information systems on Tuesday, September 9, in conference room C/D in the Public Affairs Center on the UIS campus.

The program is free, however space is limited and advance registration is required.

Co-sponsors along with UIS are the FBI's InfraGard program, the Small Business Administration, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The NSF Regional Center for Systems Security and Information Assurance is also assisting with the conference.

Since more than 95 percent of all businesses in this country are small or medium-sized, with 500 or fewer employees, problems that small businesses commonly face are potential threats to the national economic base.

To address this issue, the NIST, SBA, and FBI have established a series of regional seminars on IT security for small businesses that cover the basics of setting up and operating an information security program. Participants will learn how to define information security, common threats and how to address them, current best practices and procedures for operating more securely, what technologies are currently used to reduce IS vulnerabilities, and what resources are readily available to small businesses.

The UIS workshop will be facilitated by Richard Kissel, senior information security analyst for the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Maryland. At NIST, Kissel's primary responsibilities are to review federal agency information security programs and to plan for and conduct information security workshops for managers and staff of small organizations.

The program will conclude with a short briefing by an FBI cyber security special agent on local and national issues of note.

UIS' Computer Science department offers undergraduate and graduate degrees designed to provide students with experience in mastering problem-solving skills relevant to business, scientific, and public issues. The department is a Cisco Regional Networking Academy and the curriculum is certified by the Committee of National Security Systems and the National Security Agency.

InfraGard is a partnership between the FBI and leaders in business, education, and government. The NIST, a non-regulatory federal agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, works to advance measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve the quality of life. The Small Business Administration is an independent federal agency designed to aid, counsel, assist, and protect the interests of small business concerns. CSSIA addresses the needs of professionals in information technology security by increasing faculty expertise and higher education training programs in IT security and data assurance.

To register for the workshop, contact Stephanie Schatz at stephanie.schatz@sba.gov, or phone 217/793-5020, ext. 114.

For additional information, visit http://csrc.nist.gov/securebiz/, or contact UIS Computer Science Instructor Janis Rose at rose.janis@uis.edu or 217/206-8246.

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