Cyber-Security Services For SMEs To Be Piloted In UK

Services Will Provide Protection Against Data Breaches For Smaller European Firms


The UK will be one of the first countries to pilot a new scheme that will provide cyber-security services for SMEs, it was revealed this week.

A new scheme, the Co-ordinated Cyber-security Taskforce and Response (Costar), is supported by ten major organisations in the security industry, including the European Association for e-identity and Security (EEMA), and has been in development for the past two years.

Pilot deployments in the UK, Belgium and the Netherlands will begin this year, with a view to rolling the scheme out across EU member states in 2016.

The scheme comes following government statistics that estimate the cost of data breaches for SMEs as somewhere between £65,000 and £115,000 per year, with a quarter of smaller businesses not adequately implementing cyber-security.

Costar will aim to provide affordable managed cyber-security services in all EU member states, as well as monitoring the health of SME infrastructure, and providing remedial action and specialist support in the event of attacks.

Jon Shamah, Chairman of EEMA, said: "A single cyber-attack can have a severe impact on an SME as well as its customers and suppliers, which means often a whole supply chain can be affected.

"The traditional approach to security has been to create fear, uncertainty and doubt, but Costar seeks to build confidence, create opportunities and enable leadership. Costar is designed to provide pragmatic, practical, first-step help to SMEs by providing the resources available to most large organisations, but at a price SMEs can afford."

Expert Opinion
This is great news for small businesses, as the size of their operations often mean that the financial and reputational damage of data breach or loss can be massive. So much business across the globe is now conducted online, meaning a large amount of sensitive corporate and client data could be at risk if the right measures are not in place.

"It is vital that small firms recognise the importance of this issue and ensure that every possible step is taken to ensure they have robust systems, processes and policies to counter the threat of security problems."
Steven Beahan, Partner