Bespoke advice to help small businesses combat rising online threats is being offered through a new digital tool launched by the U.K.’s leading cybersecurity experts.
As part of the cross-government Cyber Aware campaign, GCHQ’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has created the Cyber Action Plan to help micro businesses and sole traders securely navigate the increasingly digital landscape they operate in.
The U.K. government’s most recent Cyber Security Breaches Survey found that almost half of micro and small businesses reported cybersecurity breaches or attacks in the past year. 46% were victims of these cyber incidents – up from 31% the previous year.
To help increase their digital defence, micro businesses and sole traders are being invited to complete a short questionnaire at www.cyberaware.gov.uk that generates a personalized list of actions linked to the Cyber Aware behaviors.
Over the past year some entrepreneurs have launched online-only businesses, following necessary restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19. The Cyber Action Plan is a useful tool to help start-ups and other small businesses understand their online risk.
Jonathan Geldart, Director General, Institute of Directors, said: “We know from our members that cyber crime is a top concern and priority for directors. The increase in flexible working patterns, which will continue beyond the pandemic, underlines the critical importance of cybersecurity.
The practical support offered through the new Cyber Action Plan provides a framework for organizations to minimize the risks and recognize with confidence how and where their cybersecurity could be improved.”
Advertisements promoting the tool will be broadcast on radio and seen online from March 5. The launch of the Cyber Action Plan follows a report from the Centre for Economic Performance, which found that more than 60% of U.K. businesses have shifted to working via new technologies since the start of the pandemic.