National Cyber Security Centre launches self-assessment tool for small businesses

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National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), part of the GCHQ, has created a state-of-the-art digital tool to help small businesses combat rising online threats.

Launched as part of the cross-government Cyber Aware campaign, the Cyber Action Plan by the NCSC offers bespoke advice to help increase the digital defence of micro businesses and sole traders.

Businesses are being invited to complete a short questionnaire at that generates a personalised list of actions linked to the Cyber Aware behaviours.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of this country, but we know they can be a target for cyber criminals, particularly as they move more operations online,” commented Sarah Lyons, NCSC deputy director for economy and society.

“Our free Cyber Action Plan is here to help, offering bespoke, actionable information linked to the Cyber Aware behaviours. If you work for yourself, or run a small business, I would urge you to spend a few minutes on the questionnaire and follow the steps to help secure your business.”

The government’s most recent Cyber Security Breaches Survey found that almost half of micro and small businesses reported cyber security breaches or attacks in the past year, with almost half (46%) being the victims of these cyber incidents – up from 31 per cent the previous year.

Advertisements promoting the tool will be broadcast on radio and seen online from today, directing people to – the home of the Cyber Action Plan.

The launch of the plan follows a report from the Centre for Economic Performance, which found that more than 60 per cent of UK businesses have shifted to working via new technologies since the start of the pandemic.

The NCSC has last year published advice and guidance to support organisations of all sizes, including how they can securely move their physical operations online and safely scale-up home working.