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KPMG: SMB staff need education to prevent cyber breaches

Small and medium sized businesses [SMBs] in the UK are failing to adequately educate staff in the courses of action to take to prevent a critical cyber breach laying siege to their systems and networks.

Read more: SMBs face increased security risks due to blurred work and personal life boundaries

Del Heppenstall, director of cyber security practice for KPMG in the UK, told a Cyber Streetwise small business roundtable that there must be an easy action plan implemented that is simple to understand and implement for SMBs to fight cybercrime.

“Many SMBs and their staff don’t realise the true value of the information they hold, whether that be financial, customer records, or intellectual property. The potential impact if this information were to be lost or stolen through a cyber-breach could be catastrophic and result in loss of business and damage to reputation amongst a whole list of others,” Heppenstall said.

The roundtable was put together by Ed Vaizey, minister for culture and the digital economy, and saw experts from government and the industry discuss various cyber security issues at an SMB level.

“Educating the workforce on the cyber threats and getting them to play their part in protecting information can be a big step in protecting valuable business intellectual property. It’s not just an issue for large businesses. Small businesses too need to review what important information they hold and how it is protected,” Heppenstall added.

The event was set up to support the next phase of the National Cyber Security Programme-funded Cyber Streetwise campaign that looks to help small business owners protect themselves against cyber threats.

Read more: 5 steps you can take to prevent rogue IT staff from damaging your business

Cyber Streetwise is part of a campaign delivered by the Home Office together with the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, the National Crime Agency, Action Fraud and the Cabinet Office. Funding comes out of a £860 million National Cyber Security Programme pot and we can expect to see the outcome of the roundtable rolled out in the coming months.

Image Credit: Flickr (Paul Wilkinson)