Cyber Security - what every business owner needs to know

Written by Steve Harris on 08 May 2019
Help is at hand for the 43% of UK businesses who do not have the basic technical security controls in place to protect against the most common cyber-threats.

Today, business owners face a unique set of challenges never experienced by their predecessors. A few decades ago, the possibility of businesses being subject to a cyber-attack was virtually impossible. But today, it has become as likely as it is terrifying. The technical advancements in data-hacking have led to the parallel development of data-protection. While downloading an antivirus software may previously have been sufficient, this is now only a preliminary measure, and must be coupled with stronger controls like 2-factor authentication, advanced behavioural detection, access control, and internal education.

The Government’s Cybersecurity Breaches Survey 2018 found that in the previous 12 months 43% of UK businesses identified at least one cybersecurity breach or attack. Steve Harris, Managing Director of digital transformation company Polymorph comments, “Where most breaches result in lost assets or data, the financial consequences of a breach can be particularly significant. It can take several months if not years to become fully operational after a large-scale breach.”

UK businesses must tackle the risks head-on in order to protect themselves

Unfortunately, cyber threats are omnipresent and are becoming more frequent and costly. If companies want to protect their bottom line and safeguard their operational capabilities, they must meet risks head-on and layer their defensive measures appropriately.

Steve Harris believes that many companies are being complacent when it comes to taking measures to protect themselves: “A startling proportion of UK businesses do not have the basic technical security controls in place to protect themselves against the most common cyber-threats, and do not have a formalised approach to cyber security. This is often due to lack of knowledge and information. Many businesses may not realise they are exposed. This is a real concern.”

Information, support and guidance

The good news is that help is at hand. The Government launched the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) in October 2016. It was established to protect the country’s critical services from cyberattacks and to manage major incidents. But it is also focused on increasing the availability of advice to individuals and organisations.

One example of how the NCSC is delivering practical support is its Cyber Security: Small Business Guide, which helps companies identify the risks they face and gives tips on how to stay safe.

80% of attacks can be prevented with the Government’s Cyber Essentials scheme

The Government also backs a certification scheme called Cyber Essentials. The scheme sets out a list of measures that companies can take to improve their digital security. It then offers Cyber Essentials certification and Cyber Essentials Plus certification depending on what measures a company implements.

Steve Harris continues, “The Government’s Cyber Essentials Scheme can protect businesses from up to 80% of the most common cyber-attacks. As well as providing a roadmap of exactly what businesses need to do to meet minimum recommended cyber standards, it also provides a great opportunity for businesses to audit their internal security whilst proving to their customers that cyber security is being taken seriously.”

In order to help businesses benchmark themselves against Cyber Essentials guidelines, Polymorph has launched a totally confidential online assessment.

“By completing our simple online questionnaire businesses can quickly and easily identify how they benchmark against Cyber Essentials guidelines” continues Steve. “Based on the answers provided we will prepare a free of charge report identifying the areas where basic technical controls may be lacking and what needs to be done to improve security posture.

We want to reduce the fear and uncertainty felt by thousands of business owners when it comes to cyber security and arm them with the information and advice they need to make informed decisions for their business going forward.”

For advice, support and assistance in helping your business achieve its Cyber Essentials certification or to book in for a free of charge consultation please fill in the form below or complete our ‘CyberSafe’ questionnaire at

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About the author
Steve Harris
Founder of Polymorph in 2000 and Managing Director since then, Steve previously held positions at Atos Origin and ICI. Steve’s weekends are typically taken up with running, swimming or cycling events.
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