Numerous companies have suffered from cyber-attacks this year

Government wants UK businesses to undergo 'cyber health check'

The government is trying to convince the UK’s largest firms to get a ‘virtual health check’ in the light of recent data breaches from company’s such as TalkTalk.

Digital economy minister Ed Vaizey has launched the Cyber Governance Health Check for 350 of the biggest businesses in the country, to help them understand and improve their level of cyber security.

Vaizey told the Intel Security Summit in London that as more data moves online, businesses need to increase their readiness.

"With more and more of our daily transactions done online, keeping our personal data safe is a top priority for this Government," he said.

"Our cyber health check will help the UK's biggest firms strengthen their cyber security and ensure they continue to thrive in our growing digital economy."

Cyber-security is an increasing concern for large companies. The internet service provider TalkTalk recently suffered its third hack since January and it was initially thought that the customer details of 1.2 million customers may have been stolen.

Several teenage boys and a 20-year-old man were arrested for the attacks and the final number of customer details stolen was determined to be just over 150,000.

Other companies such as Marks & Spencer’s and Carphone Warehouse have also leaked data in 2015.

The health check is part of the government's five-year £860m National Cyber Security Programme aimed at making the UK one of the safest places in the world to do business online.

Businesses who take part will receive a tailored report that identifies any weaknesses in their systems.

Earlier this week, Chancellor George Osborne announce that the UK will double its spending on cyber-security.

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