Government?s ?5,000 grant to help SMBs improve their cyber security

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The government has unveiled a new scheme to protect small businesses from cyber attacks.

Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey outlined at the Reform “Cyber Security: assurance, resilience, response” conference in London how the new voucher scheme specifically for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) will be launched later this month.

The launch of this scheme is part of a package of initiatives that have been designed to increase the resilience of UK businesses to the threat of cyber-attacks. As well as this, the package will also include a new online learning and careers hub to ensure the UK has the correct skills talent to protect both the public and private sectors.

Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said: “We want to help protect UK businesses against cyber attack and make the UK safest place in world to do business online. The new voucher scheme will offer increased protection for small businesses, and the new online hub will help ensure we have the skilled workforce in place to manage the increased pressures of the digital age.”

This new £1m cyber security scheme will also plan to offer micro, small and medium sized businesses up to £5,000 to use for specialist advice to boost their own cyber security and also protect possible new business ideas as well as intellectual property. The Government’s innovation experts at Innovate UK will oversee this scheme.

As well as helping to prevent businesses from being attacked, the vouchers enable firms to access services from the UK cyber security industry. It will also help businesses to adopt Cyber Essentials, the Government’s flagship scheme to protect businesses online.

Kevin Baughan, Innovate UK’s Director of Technology and Innovation said: “The UK’s economy is increasingly underpinned by digital infrastructure, so cyber security is now a critical component. The schemes announced today will give cyber-confidence for businesses and consumers and will help our digital economy to flourish. The UK now has the opportunity to become a world leader in cyber security, creating the jobs of tomorrow and driving productivity and growth.”

Currently worth £17.6bn and employing over 40,000 people, the UK cyber security industry appears to be strong and growing but more skilled people are needed to help as the UK goes digital and begins to adopt new technologies.

The new “Inspired Careers” online skills and career hub being launched today has been developed by industry body CREST and the Government to tackle the current skills shortage in the cyber security industry.

The hub features careers information and advice, internship and apprenticeship opportunities, academic and professional training courses, work experience and senior level vacancies, and is planning to be a powerful tool to promote the cyber security profession and will plan to encourage a new generation of cyber specialists.

Image source: Shutterstock

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