NCSC launches SME cybersecurity tool

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has launched an online cyber security self-assessment service to help UK small market enterprises (SMEs) do business safely online.

The NCSC says the tool, called the Cyber Action Plan, provides advice tailored to businesses individual circumstances from UK cyber security experts.

The tool is part of the government’s broader Cyber Aware campaign, which launched in December 2020.

The news comes as the government’s Cyber Security Breaches Survey said that 46 per cent of SMEs reported cyber breaches or attacks in the past year – an increase of 31 per cent year-on-year.

Advertisements for the tool will appear on radio and online from March 5 2021, and will direct people to the Cyber Action Plan website, which contains government advice on how to stay secure online.

The launch of the Cyber Action Plan follows a report from the Centre for Economic Performance, which said that more than 60 per cent of UK businesses have shifted to working via new technologies the pandemic began.

“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 cyber threats,” said Matt Warman, 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."

Sarah Lyons, NCSC deputy director for economy and society, said: “Small businesses are the lifeblood of this country, but we know they can be a target for cyber criminals, 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."

She added: “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.”

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