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Businesses must do more to protect their data

A new Government report on cyber crime has found that two-thirds of large firms have been hit by a cyber breach, and it is warning that all businesses need to do more to protect themselves.

The Cyber Security Breaches Survey found that only half of all firms have taken any recommended actions to identify and address vulnerabilities. Even fewer, about a third of all firms, had formal written cyber security policies, and only 10% had an incident management plan in place.

The most common attacks involve viruses, spyware or malware, and the report concludes that many of these could have been avoided if firms had taken advantage of the Government's Cyber Essentials scheme.

Ed Vaizey, Minister for the Digital Economy, said: 

"Too many firms are losing money, data and consumer confidence with the vast number of cyber attacks. As a minimum, companies should take action by adopting the Cyber Essentials scheme which will help them protect themselves."

The Government has also released the Cyber Governance Health Check, a survey that reveals that almost half of the top FTSE 350 businesses regarded cyber attacks as the biggest threat to their business when compared with other key risks - up from 29% in 2014.

The Government is also creating a new National Cyber Security Centre, a one-stop-shop for cyber security support that is due to open in the Autumn.

The Federation of Small Business (FSB) has welcomed the Government report. 

National chairman Mike Cherry said:

"Cyber crime hits smaller firms the hardest as they struggle to absorb the costs the most. With the nature, scale and costs of cyber security breaches escalating, smaller businesses need access to cyber security resources and clear advice on how to become cyber-resilient."

Meanwhile, a new report from EEF, the manufacturers' association, has found that 56% of small manufacturers have failed to increase their investment in cyber security in the past two years.

Lee Hopley, EEF Chief Economist, said: 

"Investment in new technology isn't being matched by investment in managing risks, especially among smaller firms. Technology is set to transform our industry… but risks run alongside the rewards. It is important that manufacturers are able to identify, understand and put the correct strategies in place to keep their businesses safe and cyber secure."

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