Digital economy minister Ed Vaizey launches cybersecurity voucher scheme for SMEs

Businesses can bid for up to £5,000 to receive specialist advice from cyber security experts

An information security survey this year found three-quarters of small businesses have experienced a breach © Financial Times

An information security survey this year found three-quarters of small businesses have experienced a breach © Financial Times

The government has launched a new voucher scheme to help small and medium sized businesses protect themselves against online attacks.

SMEs can bid for up to £5,000 funding each from a £1 million pot, to help them buy specialist advice to boost their online security and protect their intellectual property. Innovate UK, the government's innovation agency, will administer the scheme.

An information security survey this year found three-quarters of small businesses have experienced a security breach, costing anything from £75,200 to £310,800, and the rate of attacks is rising rapidly.

The scheme, due to launch later this month, is part of package of initiatives aimed at increasing UK businesses' resilience to online attacks unveiled by digital economy minister Ed Vaizey today.

Vaizey also launched an 'Inspired Careers' online skills and career hub, developed by industry body CREST and the government, aimed at tackling the skills shortage in cyber security.

The hub includes career tips and advice, vacancies for interns, apprentices, work experience and senior staff, plus academic and professional training courses.

The government promised it will be a "powerful tool to promote to cyber security profession and encourage the next generation of cyber specialists to help protect the UK".

The UK cyber security industry is worth £17.6 billion and employs over 40,000 people. The number of jobs within the sector is growing rapidly, doubling from 2013 to 2014, according to IT jobs site Technojobs.

Vaizey said the government aimed to "make the UK the safest place in the world to do business online".

The voucher scheme and new online hub will "help ensure we have the skilled workforce in place to manage the increased pressures of the digital age", he promised.

"The UK's economy is increasingly underpinned by digital infrastructure, so cyber security is now a critical component", Innovate UK's innovation and technology director Kevin Baughan said.

"The UK now has the opportunity to become a world leader in cyber security, creating the jobs of tomorrow and driving productivity and growth," he added.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Innovate UKsecuritySME

More about

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Charlotte Jee

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts