BIS offers funding to counter cyber attacks

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BIS offers funding to counter cyber attacks, which cost SMEs up to 6% of turnover each year

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is offering ‘innovation vouchers’ up to the value of £5,000 for SMEs to improve cyber security.  Research revealed last month that cyber-attacks are increasing, and can cost a small business up to 6% of its turnover each year.  The report makes sobering reading:
  • 87% of small firms (up 10%) experienced a security breach last year.
  • Affected companies experienced around 50% more attacks on average than a year ago
  • The average cost of the worst security breach for small organisations was between £35,000 and £65,000 (between 450,000 and £850,000 for a large organisation).
  • Several individual breaches cost more than £1 million
  • 63% of small businesses (up from 41% a year ago) were attacked by an unauthorised outsider.
  • 81% of respondents reported that senior management had not been able to put in place effective security, even though it was classed a high priority
  • 84% of large businesses report staff-related cyber breaches (the highest figure ever recorded) and 57% of small businesses (up from 48% a year ago)
In response, the government has published a guide to help small businesses improve their cyber security and is offering to fund up to £5000 for SMEs to buy in the skills of an external expert for the first time, in order to gain ‘new knowledge’ to help with this issue. Innovation vouchers are available for a variety of ‘priority themes’ to aid business development of start-ups, micro, small or medium sized businesses located in the UK.  They are administrated through the Technology Strategy Board through a draw of qualifying businesses which have registered online.  The next draw will be in July. To find out if you could apply for an ‘innovation voucher’ and how to choose a ‘knowledge supplier’ click here or visit https://vouchers.innovateuk.org