Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the UK are being offered up to £5,000 (approximately $7,600 USD) in order to improve their cybersecurity. The Innovation Vouchers scheme, being run by the government’s Technology Strategy Board, is designed to help businesses “innovate and grow” by funding outside expertise. The government has made available £500,000 ($762,600 USD) to SMEs that do not already have internal cybersecurity expertise and who are working with a new technology supplier for the first time.
Attacks targeted towards SMEs are on the increase. According to Symantec’s 2013 ISTR, the volume of attacks against SMEs “increased threefold, compared with 2011, resulting in its percentage almost doubling from 18 to 31 percent [of all attacks].” Research by Microsoft also suggests that in countries where cybersecurity is more lax, computers are more at risk of becoming infected with malware and Verizon adds to the consensus pointing to the high number of attacks against smaller businesses.
The weight of all this research, as well as “free” money being made available, should be reason enough for businesses to tighten up their security.