Thursday, 24 September 2015

Businesses Told to Invest More to Stay Safe Online

As the threat of cyber-attacks continues to increase unabated, the government has been telling British businesses that it is in their own and, by extension, the British public’s, best interests to increase spending on online security.  This comes on the back of a recent survey that discovered an astonishing ninety per cent of big business and seventy-four per cent of small businesses have suffered some form of security breach within the last twelve months.

Making the UK the Safest Country in the World to do Online Business

Ed Vaizey, who is the current Minister for the Digital Economy, has backed the call for businesses countywide to sign up for a government scheme known as Cyber Essentials, which is part of the National Cyber Security Programme. The primary aim of this programme is to educate and, hence, help protect business from cyber threats.

“Good cyber-security underpins the entire digital economy – we need it to keep our businesses, citizens and public services safe,” Vaizey said. He also went on to say that, while the UK is a world leader when it comes to digital technologies and our use of these technologies, we must strive to become a global leader in cyber security, as well.

He concluded, “Trust and confidence in UK online security are 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.”

At the time of this writing, over a thousand businesses from across the UK have signed up for the Cyber Essentials scheme. These businesses currently have access to advice and information on the current state of protection from cyber security threats. The government scheme is also looking to promote awareness via a whole range of advertising campaigns.

Helping to Protect the Future with Funding

Business is not the only entity benefitting from current government initiatives when it comes to tackling cyber security threats. Vaizey also recently announced a fund - to the tune of half a million pounds – which is earmarked for universities and colleges in an effort to help raise the awareness of cyber threats through innovative teaching methods.

All third-level education institutions can apply for a grant of up to £80,000 however there are caveats. The institutions will need to match the funding provided and must produce ‘real-world impact across the discipline’.

The goal of the fund is to make sure that all students of higher-level education are afforded the chance to receive the type of high quality and advanced instruction that will ultimately give them the technical skills required to eventually help protect British business and government entities from cyber threats and cyber-attacks.

In the end, it is our hope that both the Cyber Essentials scheme and the third level education grant are ultimately successful in what they are trying to achieve. As we in the data centre industry are all too aware, cyber threats are very real and can cause untold damage if not kept in check.

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