Bespoke cybersecurity guidance for small businesses and sole traders is being offered through a new online tool from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).
The Cyber Action Plan will ask those seeking advice to complete a short online questionnaire that will generate a personalised list of actions to improve their online security.
The NCSC scheme is being rolled out in response to the increase in small businesses moving online for the first time during the pandemic, and as experts warn of the increased risk of cyberattacks because of the additional time being spent online during lockdown.
The most recent Government Cyber Security Breaches survey found that almost half of small businesses had reported a cyberattack in the last year.
NCSC deputy director for economy and society, Sarah Lyons, said: “Small businesses are the lifeblood of this country, but we know they can be a target for cybercriminals, particularly as they move more operations online.
“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 new scheme is the latest programme to appear as part of the Government’s Cyber Aware campaign, which aims to improve the online safety awareness of both individuals and businesses.
The questionnaire for businesses can be found by visiting www.cyberaware.gov.uk.
“We want the UK to be the best place in the world to do business online, so I welcome the NCSC helping sole traders and microbusinesses with tailored advice on defending against cyberthreats,” digital infrastructure minister, Matt Warman, said.
“I strongly recommend business owners take advantage of this tool to help us build back safer from the pandemic and ensure there is no way in for hackers.
“Over the past year, some entrepreneurs have launched online-only businesses, following necessary restrictions to curb the spread of Covid-19. The Cyber Action Plan is a useful tool to help start-ups understand their online risk.”