"Identifying a ‘cyber security champion’ in your company is a great way to help avoid a damaging cyber attack or data breach on your business. "
The Government is urging small businesses to train their staff to spot and prevent cyber attacks.
In 57% of businesses experiencing recent cyber attacks, the most disruptive was reported directly by staff, rather than picked up automatically by software.
The National Cyber Security Centre says having an individual whose job role includes cyber security is directly linked to a faster response. However, research shows that only 35% of businesses have staff whose job role includes internet security or governance, despite two thirds (68%) saying cyber security is a high priority.
SMEs are being encouraged to implement a #CyberSpringClean ahead of the new financial year to ensure their workforce is able to raise the alarm and help prevent a cyber attack.
NCSC research found that cyber attacks on small businesses cost an average of nearly £900 – including everything from staff being prevented in carrying out work, to lost revenue if customers could not access online services. It also shows that 42% of micro/small businesses experienced a cyber attack in the last 12 months.
Clare Gardiner, director of engagement at NCSC, commented: “Identifying a ‘cyber security champion’ in your company is a great way to help avoid a damaging cyber attack or data breach on your business. They don’t need to be a technical expert as we offer some great free advice in the Small Business Guide. It is important to pick the right person - for example someone who is good at motivating staff – and give them the tools and support to raise awareness and implement good cyber security measures. We’re encouraging all small businesses to use the new financial year to have a #CyberSpringClean and get staff involved with protecting the business against hackers.”
Digital Minister, Margot James, said: “The UK is home to millions of successful small companies but we know that protecting against cyber attacks is hard to do whilst juggling all the other issues involved in running a business. We want to make it as easy as possible for small businesses to benefit from being online and to do so safely, which is why we're working closely with the National Cyber Security Centre to promote the practical steps firms can take.
"I would urge all SMEs to download our free Small Business Guide to help make sure that they don’t fall victim to a cyber attack."