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UK Cybersecurity Strategy to Focus on Small Businesses

UK Cybersecurity Strategy to Focus on Small Businesses - top government contractors - best government contracting event
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According to a government-funded security group involved in rolling out the UK’s new cybersecurity strategy, the government will make a particular effort to engage small and medium-sized enterprises.

Tony Dyhouse, Director of the Cyber Security KTN
Tony Dyhouse, Cyber Security KTN

Tony Dyhouse, director of the Cyber Security Knowledge Transfer Network, said the large organizations governing critical national infrastructure systems already have good flows of security information between them. He added that smaller UK businesses need to be in the cybersecurity knowledge loop.

“Small businesses are just as open to threats, and one of the main things will be teaching small businesses how to mitigate those threats. Training is one of the things that the Office of Cyber Security will address.”

Downing Street announced the launch of the Office of Cyber Security on June 24 as part of the its National Security Strategy. The office will be tasked with protecting Britain’s IT infrastructure, and with coordinating with private and public sector talent to prevent and respond to cyber attacks. A multi-agency Cyber Security Operations Centre, headquartered at GCHQ in Cheltenham, will coordinate the protection of critical IT systems.

Dyhouse posits the Internet has expanded the definition of the word “critical:”

“In a way, the amount of critical infrastructure has increased due to the interconnections of cyberspace. All sorts of UK business are now online.”

Traditionally, critical infrastructure is limited to utility and power companies, transport operators, financial institutions, and telecommunications providers. In a broad strategic shift, the government will encourage a greater range of private-sector businesses to harden their systems, and it has said it will offer training to do this. The government’s training budget “hasn’t been discussed,” according to a Cabinet Office spokesperson who added that budgets will take clearer shape in September when the OCS becomes operational.

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