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Cyber awareness campaign

The Coalition Government is to launch in the autumn a £4m cyber awareness campaign. The aim: to educate businesses about rising cyber threats.

The Home Office is inviting bids from media, PR and creative agencies to work on a communications campaign with the aim of educating consumers and small businesses on how to avoid falling victim to sophisticated cyber criminals.

Security Minister James Brokenshire said: “The digitisation of the UK economy has made our lives easier and has created huge opportunities, but it has also created individual security risks as well. If we are to meet these new challenges it’s essential we step up our efforts to stay safe online. The threat of cyber crime is real and the criminals involved are organised and driven by profit. By making small changes British businesses can remain competitive in the global economy and consumers can have greater confidence using the internet.”

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Darren Anstee, Solutions Architect Team Lead, Arbor Networks, said: “Most SMEs probably think they’re not at risk from cyber-attack because they consider themselves to be under the radar of cyber criminals, but in truth any business operating online – which means just about any type and size of organisation – can become a target. These days an organisation can be targeted because of the market it operates in, what it sells, who its’ customers are or who it is affiliated with. And, the motivations behind attacks are now very broad – from ideological hacktivism through to competitive take-out – so it’s very difficult to assess when / if an organisation might be attacked. Also, the explosion of inexpensive and readily-accessible attack tools, malware toolkits and DDoS ‘services’ means that pretty much anyone can carry out an attack, if they want to.

“Every company that relies on the availability of their Internet connectivity to do business, whether to sell products, offer services or access cloud based data / applications, should be looking at assessing the impact a successful attack could have to their business and deploying appropriate solutions to mitigate this growing risk.”

And Mark James, technical director, ESET UK, said: “SMEs form the backbone of the UK economy and without the resources always available to larger enterprises basic cracks in security measures can appear. When breaches in security can cripple a company in terms of both financial and reputational damage, it’s encouraging to see the government taking a lead in helping businesses build up resistance to threats by equipping them with the skills and confidence to adequately educate staff on the ways to spot malware and hacker threats.”


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