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Businesses warned about risks of cyber attacks

James Pearce
September 24, 2015

Minister for the digital economy Ed Vaizey said UK must be a “leader” in cyber security

UK businesses have been warned about the growing risk of cyber attacks as minister for the digital economy Ed Vaizey encouraged SMEs to take up the Government’s Cyber Essentials scheme to keep their data safe.

Figures revealed at the Financial Times Cyber Security Europe Summit revealed that 74 per cent of small businesses and 90 per cent of major businesses had a cyber security breach in the last year.

Cyber Essentials, a government scheme to help protect businesses from the most common internet threats, includes the likes of Intel Security, and over 1,000 firms have signed up to the scheme since it was launched in 2011.

Vaizey told the conference that good security “underpins the entire digital economy.”

“We need to keep our businesses, our citizens and our public services safe,” he added. “The UK is a world leader in the use of digital technologies but we also need to be a world leader in cyber security.

Vaizey used the conference to announce £500,000 of funding to help universities develop tools and teaching methods to help develop cyber security skills.

This is in addition to the £860 million already invested by the government in the National Cyber Security Programme.
SMEs could also be eligible to take part in a voucher scheme worth up to £5,000 for specialist advice on boosting their cyber security. The government has invest £1 million in to the voucher scheme.

Firms including Vodafone and Barclays have already signed up for Cyber Essentials.

Vaizey added: “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.”

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