Ed Vaizey: Companies should adopt Cyber Essentials as minimum to help protect themselves

Cyber Essentials Ed Vaizey.001

Britain’s  businesses are being urged to adopt Cyber Essentials Scheme to better protect themselves from cyber criminals following government research.

The research reveals that the most common attacks that were detected involved viruses, spyware or malware that could have been prevented using the Government’s Cyber Essentials scheme.

The Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2016 revealed that, despite the number of breaches being experienced by large firms only half of all firms have  taken any actions to identify vulnerabilities and put any recommended actions in place to address these risks. Less than a third of all firms had formal written cyber security policies and only 10% had an incident management plan in place.

Minister for the Digital Economy Ed Vaizey said:

“The UK is a world-leading digital economy and this Government has made cyber security a top priority. Too many firms are losing money, data and consumer confidence with the vast number of cyber attacks. It’s absolutely crucial businesses are secure and can protect data. As a minimum companies should take action by adopting the Cyber Essentials scheme which will help them protect themselves.”

The Government has also published the results from its Cyber Governance Health Check 2015/16 survey which assesses the extent to which boards and audit committees of FTSE 350 companies understand and oversee risk management . The majority of the respondents in 2015 were Chief Financial Officers, possibly because they may chair any audit committees. In 2013 the majority of respondents were Chair of the main board. The largest respondents in 2015 were from Financial services sector.

Both surveys form part of the Government’s rigorous approach to tackling cyber crime, which will see £1.9 billion invested over the next five years.

The Government is encouraging all firms to take action: the 10 Steps to Cyber Security provides advice to large businesses, and the Cyber Essentials scheme is available to all UK firms. The Government is also creating a new National Cyber Security Centre offering industry a ‘one-stop-shop’ for cyber security support.

Government’s plans to improve cyber security for Government, businesses and consumers will be published in a new national cyber security strategy later in 2016.

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