Feeds

Small.biz told to swot up on Net security

Green Cross code for SMEs

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

Industry groups, vendors and police came together in Westminster today to collaborate on producing guidelines to help protect small firms from the growing menace of e-crime.

Parliamentary lobby group Eurim and the Institute for Public Policy Research hope their Protecting the Vulnerable report will act as a catalyst for improving security awareness among small firms and SOHO workers.

The report, the second in a series from Eurim looking at aspect of cyber-crime, includes a number of practical recommendations including:

  • Educating SMEs on security risks and what they can do to protect themselves

  • Opening new and more effective channels of advice and information, managed by the key organisations which are respected by small businesses

  • Encouraging suppliers and retailers to promote and sell robust, effective and easy-to-use security products and services

  • Making sure that small businesses have effective means of reporting suspicious incidents


These recommendations come as small firms increasingly find themselves as the targets of online crime. Many have insufficient computing expertise or either lack the time or funds to combat the threat.

There are 2.6 million sole traders and 1.2 million businesses with less than 50 employees in the UK, employing 40 per cent of the entire UK population.

Many of these companies provide services within the supply chains of larger organisations. The lack of effective secure computing within these SMEs pose creates a risk not only to these firms themselves but their larger partners.

Specific recommendations advocated by Eurim include establishing a secure computing information resource maintained by the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU), a ‘Green Cross Code’ pack detailing codes of practice for the safe use of technology, the inclusion of practical security modules in IT training courses and a Home Office advertising campaign highlighting the need for PC security.

Philip Virgo, Secretary General of Eurim, commented: “More needs to be done to protect small businesses. This paper outlines key measures that should be taken as a matter of urgency. We need to get the message to small firms that acquiring, installing and maintaining secure information systems is essential for their own good and for that of the economy as a whole.”

The launch of Eurim's report was backed by security officers from Microsoft and Cable & Wireless, and officers from Scotland Yard's Computer Crime Unit, all of whom offered words of support and encouragement for the scheme.

Protecting the Vulnerable can be found here.

A Microsoft/British Chamber of Commerce guide to improving IT security can be found at Microsoft’s Web site for small business, bCentral. ®

Related Stories

My sysadmin is a special constable
UK.gov announces hi-tech elite police squad
Clueless office workers help spread computer viruses

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.