NCSC offers businesses tool for personalised cybersecurity tips

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is offering personalised cybersecurity guidance in the form of a “Cyber Action Plan” for small businesses and sole traders via a new online tool.

The Cyber Action Plan will ask users to complete a short questionnaire in order to generate a personalised list of actions they could execute to improve the security of their operations online.

It is being rolled out in response to the increase in small businesses moving online for the first time during the coronavirus pandemic, which increases risk of cyberattacks. Ahead of the first national lockdown, the NCSC advised businesses to take strong proactive measures to ensure their cyber security is up to scratch, as increased homeworking will see many people using devices not set up with the same rigorous security requirements of a typical workplace.

The most recent Government Cyber Security Breaches survey found that almost half of small businesses had reported a cyberattack in the last year. 46 per cent were victims of these cyber incidents, up from 31 per cent the previous year.

Cyberattacks have surged during the coronavirus pandemic, while cybercrime such as digital fraud has been increasingly targeted at small-scale targets rather than large financial institutions.

“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 cyberthreats,” said Matt Warman, the digital infrastructure minister. “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.”

“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 understand their online risk.”

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 cybercriminals, 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.”

The new scheme is the latest instalment of the cross-government Cyber Aware campaign, which aims to boost safely online for individuals and businesses.

Jonathan Geldart, director general of the Institute of Directors, commented: “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 cyber security.”

Sign up to the E&T News e-mail to get great stories like this delivered to your inbox every day.

Recent articles