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The UK government has called on all businesses in the country to protect themselves from the growing threat of cybercrime.
Ed Vaizey, minister for culture and the digital economy, said that while many enterprises are “reaping the benefits” of being online, no organization is immune to the menace of cyberattacks.
As an example, he stated that in 2014 alone, 74 percent of small businesses and 90 percent of major businesses had experienced a data security breach.“74% of small businesses and 90% of major businesses in the UK experienced a data security breach in 2014.”
Mr Vaizey, who was speaking at the Financial Times Cyber Security Summit Europe 2015, explained that the government itself is also making a concerted effort to protect the UK from cybercrime.
For example, he announced at the event that a new £500,000 fund has been set up specifically for colleges and universities to enhance the nation’s cyber prowess.
This will, he said, help them develop innovative teaching methods and more engaging learning environments that will, in turn, produce the cybersecurity skills needed to protect everyone in the UK today and in the future.
“Good cybersecurity underpins the entire digital economy – we need it to keep our businesses, citizens and public services safe,” commented Mr Vaizey.
“The UK is a world leader in the use of digital technologies but we also need to be a world leader in cybersecurity.
“Trust and confidence in UK online security is crucial for consumers, businesses and investors. We want to make the UK the safest place in the world to do business online.”
The UK government’s announcement comes on the back of new data that suggests businesses in the country are more at risk of a cyberattack than their international counterparts.
ThreatMetrix found that British enterprises have been attacked more than double the number of times as those in the US. Financial institutions were reported as being the number one target.
Worryingly, the UK is now also the “the second highest originator” of cybercrime in the world. The US remains number one.
Author Karl Thomas, ESET