By the NCSC

This article provides information about support that is available through the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), which was set up in 2016 to make the UK the safest place to live and work online. The NCSC provides a single point of contact for SMEs, larger organisations, government agencies, the general public and departments. We also work collaboratively with other law enforcement, defence, the UK’s intelligence and security agencies and international partners.

SMEs cover a huge range of businesses and make up 99% of all business in the UK. Often SMEs do not have the budget of large organisations to spend on cyber security. NCSC’s ambition is to raise the cyber resilience and maturity of SMEs, helping sole traders, micros and small businesses become more secure online. Its experts offer lots of free advice and guidance to help businesses.

Over the past year, businesses in the UK have adjusted to new ways of working and are using the internet more than ever. Over 60% of firms report that they have adopted new technologies or management practices since the onset of the pandemic, while a third have invested in new digital capabilities (Centre for Economic Performance Covid-19 Analysis, September 2020). Unfortunately, this potentially creates more opportunities for cyber criminals.

So, what is the likelihood of your business falling victim to a cyber attack? Here are some of the latest stats for the last 12 months:

  • Four in ten businesses (39%*) report having cyber security breaches or attacks
  • Around a quarter (27%*) experience them at least once a week, with the most common being phishing attacks (83%*)
  • Where businesses have faced breaches with material outcomes, the average cost is estimated at £8,460*

It is crucial that businesses are equipped to deal with the evolving cyber threats that come from working in a more digital world. The good news is that the NCSC has actionable and affordable advice and guidance that can greatly improve your organisation’s cyber security.

Cyber Security Resources

Here are a series of resources to help SMEs with their cyber security:

  1. Cyber Aware – Cyber Aware is the government’s advice on how to stay secure online. It outlines six actions to take to improve your cyber security and offers a tailored plan for you or your business.
  2. NCSC Newsletter – If you want to access the latest trends and topics in cyber, you can sign up to the NCSC’s new monthly Small Organisations Newsletter.
  3. Small Business Guide – Explains how to improve your cyber security; affordable, actionable advice for organisations.
  4. Top Tips for Staff  & Cyber Security for Small Organisations E-learning  – Cyber Security for Small Organisations and Top Tips for Staff are both designed to be integrated into your organisation’s training platform.
  5. Exercise in a Box – A free online tool which helps organisations find out how resilient they are to cyber attacks and practise their response in a safe environment. Exercises include from 15-minute micro exercises, 1-3 hour discussion based exercises and a 3-4 hour simulation exercise.
  6. Response & Recovery Guide -Guidance that helps organisations prepare their response to and plan their recovery from a cyber incident.
  7. COVID -19 Guidance – This guidance includes home working, video conferencing and moving your organisation from physical to digital

How to find out more?

You can find out more about the NCSC’s products and guidance by visiting

* Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2021

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