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Gloucestershire Business News

Half of small businesses are the victim of cyber attacks

Nearly half of small businesses have been the subject of a cyber-attack in the past year, a government survey has showed.

According to the Government's Cyber Security Breaches Survey, 43 per cent of businesses have experienced a cyber security breach or attack in the last 12 months.

The figure is all the more alarming when it is factored in that as many as 56 per cent of businesses hold customers' personal date on a cloud-based storage system.

The Government has backed a Cyber Essentials scheme, but research from CyberGuard - part of the OGL Group - has shown that a worrying percentage of IT managers are unaware of the scheme.

Cyberguard's survey highlighted that 19 per cent of IT managers were unaware of how Cyber Essentials compliance could help their business.

And one out of every 10 of those IT managers were unsure whether their company even had a certificate.

Cyber Essentials launched in July 2014 with the aim of ensuring all businesses became cyber secure.

It has become a quality standard in many industries and a necessity for winning government contracts.

Paul Colwell, Chief Technology Officer at CyberGuard said: "We encourage companies to become Cyber Essentials certified since it can help protect against most common cyber-attacks.

"In 2019, it should be paramount that businesses who rely on technology protect customer and employee information - as well as their own.

"Becoming Cyber Essentials certified is a great start to implementing strong and secure cyber security practices."

Small businesses have been proven to be at a higher risk to a cyber-attack than larger corporations, but are less likely to have Cyber Essentials certification.

The majority of the businesses surveyed (81 per cent) said they were certified and of those 84 per cent claimed it had helped their business win contracts.

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