The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has published a new guide specifically tailored for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) aimed at mitigating the potential impact of cyber-attacks when utilizing online services. The “Using online services safely” guide is designed to assist organizations that may lack dedicated IT and support staff. Emphasizing the increasing reliance of smaller organizations on cloud and online services, particularly with remote work trends, the guide offers 10 pages of practical advice. Covering topics such as choosing the right service, data backup, domain name security, and defending against malware, the NCSC aims to empower SMBs to use online services securely and reduce the risk of falling victim to cyber threats.
The guide acknowledges the prevalent use of online services by SMEs for daily tasks, including communication, cloud storage, website hosting, and online accounting. It poses essential questions about the duration a business could operate without critical functions in the event of a cyber-attack, emphasizing the importance of securing online operations. The release of the guide aligns with government reports indicating a rise in security breaches among UK businesses, with 32% of businesses experiencing a security breach or cyber-attack in the previous 12 months, increasing to 59% for medium-sized businesses.
The user-friendly guide from the NCSC addresses the challenges faced by SMEs in adopting secure online practices, providing practical insights into the selection and usage of online services. It covers fundamental aspects of cybersecurity, such as data backup and protection against malware, catering to organizations without dedicated IT support. As remote work becomes a standard practice, the NCSC’s initiative aims to fortify the cybersecurity posture of SMEs, enabling them to navigate the online landscape securely and protect their critical functions from potential cyber threats.