A cyber fund worth £0.5 million has been made available from 7 November to help Scottish charities as well as small and medium-sized businesses to protect themselves from the most common forms of cyber attack.
According to the Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report, the average cost of a cyber attack to a small business was £3,000, However, the costs are often far more than financial. A cyber attack, particularly one that compromises customer data can damage your reputation beyond repair. 90% of small businesses that have been attacked said that it caused damage to their brand, stopped them winning new business, or lost them clients.
Safe, Secure and Prosperous: A Cyber Resilience Strategy for Scotland
The Scottish Government launched the Private Sector and Third Sector Action Plans on Cyber Resilience at the end of June 2018. These action plans have been developed in close collaboration with the National Cyber Resilience Leaders’ Board (NCRLB), the UK National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and key partners from across the private and third sectors.
The action plans set out how the Scottish government will help private and third sector organisations in Scotland tackle the cyber threat, with a particular focus on supporting small businesses and charities to understand the ongoing threat of cyber attack and how to prevent it. The action plans form part of the Scottish Government’s ongoing commitment to develop a suite of action plans in support of Safe, Secure and Prosperous: A Cyber Resilience Strategy for Scotland.
The Cyber Essentials Voucher Scheme has developed from this. Designed to help more businesses become cyber secure, it offers a voucher up to the value of £1000 to support Scottish SMEs to achieve either Cyber Essentials or Cyber Essentials Plus.
If your business meets the following criteria, you can apply for a Cyber Essentials voucher:
You must be a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) with fewer than 250 employees
You must have a registered base in Scotland
You must operate IT with a connection to the internet
Organisations can apply for the grant funding online and, if approved, will be eligible to access the money once they have achieved the Cyber Essentials accreditation.
Cyber Essentials certification is a good and achievable starting point for most businesses to begin their journey towards cyber resilience.
Cyber Essentials is a Government-backed standard in cyber security enabling businesses to demonstrate that they both understand and address cyber risks. Prevention is cost-effective and being resilient is an opportunity to create value and differentiate your business from your competitors.
Cyber security shouldn’t be left to your IT department – everyone has a responsibility and it should be a key priority for your business.