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October 25, 2021, by bbzswh

University offers cyber security guidance for small businesses

Cyber security research conducted by the University of Nottingham has produced a report with guidance and information on cyber security for small businesses. The booklet, Cyber Security for Small Businesses, follows a six-month study undertaken to better understand small businesses’ exposure to – and potential impacts from – cyber security breaches and attacks.

Jointly produced with Ipsos MORI and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the report helps to address the lack of understanding of breach costs amongst smaller organisations. Small business participants were recruited via the University’s Business Network, with webinar and workshop activities designed to collect data and opinions around their awareness of cyber security and associated costs. The findings suggest that small businesses are often likely to be ill-prepared for cyber incidents and have limited appreciation of the potential effects that such events could have upon them.

With content that also draws upon findings from this year’s Cyber Security Breaches Survey, the resulting report provides information and guidance on the related problems facing small business, the impacts that may arise, and key advice and resources that can help to address the resulting needs.

Commenting on the findings, Professor Steven Furnell, said: “Small businesses unfortunately find themselves exposed to many of the same cyber threats as their larger counterparts but are often less equipped to deal with them. This can be a problem for them directly but can also potentially lead to wider impacts if they are part of someone else’s supply chain. We hope that this booklet will help small businesses in developing their awareness of key issues and understanding what to do about them”.

Commenting on the work, Jayesh Shah from Ipsos MORI, said: “In our Cyber Security Breaches Survey, all sorts of businesses told us that Covid-19 had stretched them to their limits. In this kind of environment, it’s very easy for small businesses to take their eye off the ball when it comes to cyber security, but this is a false economy when the threat level is undiminished. This booklet aims to provide small businesses with a systematic way to think about the full costs of cyber security breaches, as well as incorporating the latest, simple UK government guidance for small businesses.”

The University’s Cyber Security group (CybSec) is based in the School of Computer Science, undertaking research and education that focuses on cyber security technology and those that use it. Areas of activity and interest include cyber threat intelligence, network security, risk management, trust and uncertainty, and user identity and authentication.  Businesses interesting in engaging with the team are welcome to make contact with group members directly, or via the university’s business engagement team.

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