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Nearly half of all businesses (46%) reported a cyber breach or attack in the past 12 months (Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2017, Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (opens new window)).

The impact of a cyber breach or attack can be huge: there’s the time you could lose through having to fix your website or systems, the potential loss of customers, damage to your reputation and all the other potential consequences of a hacker getting their hands on your data. 

The good news is protecting your business from hackers and viruses does not have to take a lot of time, work or money. Cyber Aware is encouraging small businesses across the UK to do two simple things which can help improve their online security – using strong passwords made up of three random words and always downloading the latest software updates.

Once you and your staff are taking these two key actions, there’s a range of Government-approved guidance you can follow to protect your business.

Small businesses: what you need to know about cyber security

This short, simple guide shows you how to get good basic security measures in place to protect your business. Cyber security: advice for small businesses (opens new window)

Cyber Essentials

Most cyber-attacks exploit basic vulnerabilities in IT systems and software. You can prevent these by using Cyber Essentials, which sets out five controls to significantly reduce your company’s vulnerability to cyber attacks. The scheme is suitable for organisations of all sizes, in all sectors. Cyber Essentials (opens new window)

Protect your data

You are required by law to protect data you hold and process about your customers, suppliers and staff. Find out more about the Data Protection Act and get simple, practical advice on how to keep your customers, suppliers and employees’ personal information secure. The Information Comissioners' Office data protection guidance for small business (opens new window)

Train your staff

Free online cyber security training for staff managers and business owners. Cyber security training for business (opens new window)

Government cyber security advice for businesses

A full list of Government cyber security advice for businesses can be found here:

Been a victim of cyber crime?

If your business has been a victim of cyber crime, you can report it to the police via the Action Fraud website (opens new window)