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UK government opens cyber security centre for SMBs

The UK government is putting computer security in the spotlight by opening a Cyber Demonstration Centre for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

The centre will be located in Westminster and allow firms to showcase their cyber security products. By offering high-tech facilities, including Cisco conferencing tools and remote streaming, it is hoped that smaller businesses will be able to display their products more effectively.

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The Cyber Growth Partnership (CGP) is responsible for setting up the centre, in collaboration with UK Trade and Investment and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. The facility is part of a broader £860 million investment into UK cyber security and should help demonstrate the quality of products available here to future delegates.

A spokesperson for the CGP said that the centre is now available for any business wishing to make use of its facilities.

"We are now taking bookings for the centre from companies wishing to host meetings or presentations with clients and partners. All companies are being offered their first session in the centre free of charge.”

The UK’s cyber security industry is made up of approximately 2,000 companies, most of which are SMBs and more than 40,000 employees. Earlier this month, the government announced a new voucher scheme that would grant small businesses £5,000 to improve their cyber security by acquiring new software and specialist advice.

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A recent report showed that 60 per cent of small businesses suffered a cyber breach in 2014, costing the UK economy hundreds of thousands of pounds and shattering the reputation of many firms. Smaller businesses may feel as though they do not have the financial resources to protect themselves against the latest threats, but recent government initiatives should help alleviate these concerns.

Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with IT Pro Portal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.