The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has created a tool to provide bespoke cybersecurity advice to small businesses.
Aimed at helping sole traders and microbusinesses combat the growing threat of cyber-attacks, the Cyber Action Plan was created by some of the UK’s leading cyber security experts.
The online questionnaire takes around 3-5 minutes to complete and provides advice to help small businesses stay secure online. A version aimed at families and individuals is currently being developed, the centre also revealed.
NCSC Deputy Director for Economy and Society Sarah Lyons said: “Small businesses are the lifeblood of this country, but we know they can be a target for cyber criminals, particularly as they move more operations online.
“Our free Cyber Action Plan is here to help, offering bespoke, actionable information linked to the Cyber Aware behaviours.
“If you work for yourself, or run a small business, I would urge you to spend a few minutes on the questionnaire and follow the steps to help secure your business.”
According to the UK Government’s recent Cyber Security Breaches Survey, nearly half of micro and small businesses reported cybersecurity breaches or attacks in the past year.
46% were victims of these cyber incidents – marking a 31% increase on the previous year.
In addition, a recent report from the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) has warned that cybercriminals are going ‘down market’ and targeting individuals instead of big businesses.
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While the pay-outs may be smaller, the number of targets is larger, and the chance of evading detection is greater.
As such, smaller organisations, including micro-businesses and single-person companies are increasingly at risk. Lacking the cybersecurity budgets of larger companies, they are at risk of ransomware, fraud, or data breaches.
Furthermore, with over half of UK businesses shifting to remote working due to the pandemic, so too have the risk of falling victim to a cyberattack increased. The pandemic has also seen many small companies move online to do business, creating more potential targets.
Digital Infrastructure Minister Matt Warman said: “We want the UK to be the best place in the world to do business online, so I welcome the NCSC helping sole traders and microbusinesses with tailored advice on defending against cyber threats.
“I strongly recommend business owners take advantage of this tool to help us build back safer from the pandemic and ensure there is no way in for hackers.”