Scheme launched to help stop cyber crime

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) across Scotland are being given the chance to enlist the services of an industry expert to assist them with a cyber security strategy.

Cyber Resilience Voucher Scheme has been launched by Digital Scotland Business Excellence Partnership (formed of Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Business Gateway and COSLA).

The value of the voucher is up to £1,500 per company. 80 applications have been received so far, with another 120 still available.

The Federation of Small Businesses found that 3 out of 10 of their members have been a victim of cyber crime with the total cost of cyber crime to the UK economy being valued at £27 billion per annum.

A cyber resilience strategy will help businesses achieve Cyber Essentials; a UK Government developed accreditation scheme. Cyber Essentials is increasingly becoming a requirement in the procurement of products and services. A toolkit is also being developed that will help businesses to easily access the information on how to get the basics of cyber resilience right.

Paul Foley, Project Manager at Scottish Enterprise, said: “All citizens and businesses are a potential target of a cyber attack, particularly if they do not take some simple precautionary measures to protect themselves. Any company that relies on computerised systems for payroll, marketing via social media or a website, booking systems, databases of customer details including payment details or any Intellectual Property or Patent information that could be of value is at risk.”

“This voucher gives businesses one-to-one access with a cyber security expert to ensure measures are put in place to safeguard the business and its customers. On completion, the systems will be compliant with the Cyber Essentials UK Government Standard.”

The scheme is free but there is a limited number of places available and to be eligible for the voucher, SMEs have to be based in Scotland and have a relationship with Business Gateway, Highland and Islands Enterprise or Scottish Enterprise. The application can be accessed via business contacts at these three organisations. The deadline for applications is January 2017.

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