The UK government has urged British businesses to ensure their cyber security strategy is as thorough as it can be, highlighting how trust and confidence in online security is crucial for customers.
Speaking at the Financial Times Cyber Security Summit Europe 2015, Ed Vaizey, minister for culture and the digital economy, acknowledged the many benefits to a business of being online, but stressed that organisations must do more to protect themselves and their customers.
To illustrate his point, he cited data from 2014 which showed that 74% of small businesses and 90% of major businesses had experienced a data security breach.
Vaizey’s general message was that regardless of size, no firm is immune from cyber attack – a sad reality that British businesses must come to terms with.
“Good cyber security underpins the entire digital economy – we need it to keep our businesses, citizens and public services safe,” he said.
“The UK is a world leader in the use of digital technologies but we also need to be a world leader in cyber security.”
The minister added that the government is determined to make the UK the safest place in the world to do business online, as testified by a new £500,000 fund that has been set up specifically for colleges and universities to enhance the nation’s cyber prowess.
For businesses, meanwhile, the government is offering the Cyber Essentials scheme which helps protect against the majority of internet threats, such as viruses, malware and hacking.
“By providing organisations with the criteria and opportunity to meet basic cyber security hygiene standards, this initiative will increase confidence for businesses as well as their customers and partners,” commented James Stirk, regional director for government at Intel Security.
The government also offers micro, small and medium sized businesses up to £5,000 for specialist advice to boost their cyber security and protect new business ideas and intellectual property.