Small businesses have been offered new support to help protect against cyber attacks.
The move came after the Information Security Breaches Survey, which was commissioned by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), revealed that the number of cyber attacks hitting businesses has increased over the last year.
It showed 87 per cent of small firms experienced a security breach last year, up by ten per cent. A total of 93 per cent of large organisations had also been targeted and the research found some attacks caused more than £1 million of damage. The average cost of the worst security breach for small organisations was between £35,000 and £65,000.
Now BIS has published a guide to help small businesses improve their cyber security and make it part of their business risk management process.
And the Technology Strategy Board has extended a scheme to allow small and medium-sized enterprises to bid for up to £5,000 to improve their cyber security.
Launching the new initiative on 23 April, Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said: “Keeping electronic information safe and secure is vital to a business’s bottom line.
“Companies are more at risk than ever of having their cyber security compromised, in particular small businesses, and no sector is immune from attack. But there are simple steps that can be taken to prevent the majority of incidents.
“The package of support we are announcing will help small businesses protect valuable assets like financial information, websites, equipment, software and intellectual property, driving growth and keeping UK businesses ahead in the global race.”