The UK’s leading cybersecurity agency has launched two new services designed to help the nation’s small businesses to more effectively enhance their cyber-risk management.
The National Cyber Security Agency (NCSC) today announced a Cyber Action Plan – a questionnaire for small organizations and individuals/families, which delivers a free personalized security to-do list depending on the answers it receives.
The GCHQ-run agency’s second new service is Check Your Cyber Security. Accessible via the action plan, it can be used by non-technical employees to find and fix a small range of security issues in their organization.
A handful of simple online checks are run to identify common vulnerabilities in public-facing IT systems, including web browsers, IP addresses and websites, and email inboxes.
The idea is for the NCSC to help less well-resourced organizations get the security basics right to deter opportunistic cyber-criminals.
Read more on the NCSC’s free tools for businesses: NCSC’s Free Email Security Check Spots Domain Issues.
Launched as part of the NCSC’s Cyber Aware campaign, the new services are certainly needed. According to a government report out last year, nearly two-fifths (38%) of small businesses in the UK suffered a “cyber incident” over the previous 12 months.
However, raising awareness is key: that same report revealed that just 30% of businesses are aware of the Cyber Aware campaign and the resources they could be utilizing.
Small businesses, which the government defines as companies with 0–49 employees, comprise over 99% of the country’s estimated 5.5 million companies. They also contribute nearly half (48%) of all employees and around a third (34%) of private sector turnover.
“Small businesses are the backbone of the UK, but we know that cyber-criminals continue to view them as targets. That’s why the NCSC has created the Cyber Action Plan and Check Your Cyber Security to help them boost their online defences in a matter of minutes,” explained NCSC CEO, Lindy Cameron.
“I strongly encourage all small businesses to use these tools today to keep the cyber-criminals out and their operations on track.”