UK businesses warned of growing cyber risk

UK cyber risk

We reported back in July on the UK government's plans to help small businesses boost their cyber security. Today enterprises across the country are being urged to protect themselves by taking up the government's Cyber Essentials scheme.

Whilst £1 in every £5 earned by UK businesses now comes from the Internet, cyber attacks are considered a serious threat. The latest figures reveal that 74 percent of small businesses and 90 percent of major businesses have had a cyber breach of some sort in the last year.

"Good cyber security underpins the entire digital economy -- we need it to keep our businesses, citizens and public services safe. The UK is a world leader in the use of digital technologies but we also need to be a world leader in cyber security," Minister for the Digital Economy, Ed Vaizey says. "Trust and confidence in UK online security is crucial for consumers, businesses and investors. We want to make the UK the safest place in the world to do business online and Cyber Essentials is a great and simple way firms can protect themselves".

Speaking at today's Financial Times Cyber Security Europe Summit, the minister revealed that more than 1,000 businesses have now adopted Cyber Essentials -- the government's leading scheme which protects businesses against the most common threats on the Internet. Intel Security is among the firms who have recently achieved Cyber Essentials certification.

The Minister also announced a new £500,000 fund to help universities and colleges develop innovative teaching and learning to provide the cyber security skills needed to protect the UK now and in the future.

Commenting on the speech, Wolfgang Kandek, CTO at security management specialist Qualys says, "It's up to us all to make it easier to keep IT systems secure, from end-users knowing not to fall for phishing attacks or malware, through to IT teams keeping systems up to date and therefore protected. When one pound out of every five is driven by Internet activities, all sites and applications should be made secure by design, rather than having security bolted on as an after-thought".

Further details of Cyber Essentials, including the scheme documents and an online tool to help businesses assess themselves, can be found on the scheme's website.

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