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Small businesses in fight against cyber crime

Small businesses can help protect themselves from cyber crime, Security Minister James Brokenshire said at an industry conference this week.

A report published this week by the Federation of Small Businesses, Cyber security and fraud: the impact on small businesses attributed the cost of cyber fraud to small businesses as around £785 million a year.

The conference heard there are simple steps that businesses can take to protect themselves from cyber crime. Top tips include:

  • ensuring you have the most up to date virus software installed on your computer
  • making sure you have a strong password policy (min 8 characters)
  • securing your wireless network

The report builds on existing advice published last year by the government, ‘10 Steps to Cyber Security’, which is a straightforward blueprint explaining how board members and senior executives can manage cyber risks in order to protect their business. Many of the suggestions can be implemented at little or no cost.

James Brokenshire, Security Minister at the Home Office, said:

Cyber security is a crucial part of the government’s National Cyber Security Strategy.

Over £63 million has been committed to the Home Office for enhancing our response to online crime, the bulk of which is being used to strengthen law enforcement capabilities.

This includes the creation of the new National Cyber Crime Unit to tackle the most serious forms of cyber crime and bring more offenders to justice.

We need to make sure that all businesses, large and small are engaged in implementing appropriate prevention measures.

This report will help give a greater understanding of how online security and fraud issues affect small businesses, giving guidance as well as valuable top tips to protect their business.

The government is fighting back and has created a new National Cyber Crime Unit, based in the National Crime Agency. It brings together experts from across law enforcement and beyond to target this new breed of organised criminals who are using their technical knowledge to rip off businesses and the public.

Small companies can be big business for cyber criminals. But while small businesses do not have the financial might of the international companies to protect their online assets, there is much more that can be done to increase protection.

Together with the Minister for Universities and Science, we have invested £650 million in a National Cyber Security Programme, which will help us forge closer ties with the public and private sector to make the UK one of the safest places to do business.

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