To protect SMEs from cyber attacks, the government has unveiled a £1m scheme to help small and medium sized businesses.
Digital economy minster Ed Vaizey told the Reform cyber security resilience, assurance and response conference in London that the scheme is set to launch later this month.
The initiative is part of a package of ideas designed to increase the resilience of UK businesses to cyber attack, and will offer SMEs up to £5,000 for advice on how to improve their cyber security and protection for intellectual property. The scheme will help firms to access services from the UK cyber security industry and adopt the government’s cyber essentials scheme (CES). The scheme will also be overseen by government experts at Innovate UK.
An online learning and careers hub has also been set up, to help ensure the UK has the cyber skills to protect the public and private sectors in the face of increasing online threats.
74% of small businesses suffered a security breach in the past year that cost the company between £75,200 and £310,800 according to the 2015 Information Security Breaches Survey.
Vaizey said: “We want to help protect UK businesses against cyber attacks and make the UK the safest place in world to do business online.
“The new voucher scheme will offer increased protection for small businesses, and the new online hub will help ensure we have the skilled workforce in place to manage the increased pressures of the digital age.”
Director of technology and innovation Kevin Baughan believes cyber security is critical because the economy is underpinned by digital infrastructure.
He said: “The schemes announced today will give cyber confidence for businesses and consumers, and will help our digital economy to flourish. The UK now has the opportunity to become a world leader in cyber security, creating the jobs of tomorrow and driving productivity and growth.”
The UK cyber security industry is worth £17.6bn and employs more than 40,000 people. More skilled people within the industry are needed however to protect the nation as the UK goes digital and adopts new technologies.