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“We want to make the UK the safest place in the world to do business online.”

The government have warned UK businesses about the growing risk of cyber-attacks this week, after research found that 90 percent of large businesses have had security breaches in the last 12 months.

As UK businesses increasingly operate online, cyber-attacks are now considered to be a serious threat. Minister for the digital economy Ed Vaizey is urging businesses across the country to protect themselves by adopting the government’s Cyber Essentials scheme.

Speaking at the Financial Times Cyber Security Europe Summit, he said:

“Good cyber security underpins the entire digital economy – we need it to keep our businesses, citizens and public services safe. The UK is a world leader in the use of digital technologies but we also need to be a world leader in cyber security.

“Trust and confidence in UK online security is crucial for consumers, businesses and investors. We want to make the UK the safest place in the world to do business online and Cyber Essentials is a great and simple way firms can protect themselves.”

He explained that more than 1,000 businesses have now taken up the Cyber Essentials scheme.

The minister also announced a new £500,000 fund to help universities and colleges develop innovative teaching and learning to provide the cyber security skills needed to protect the UK now and in the future.

Since launching the National Cyber Security Programme in 2011, Government has invested £860m to protect and promote the UK. Based on analysis by GCHQ which showed how cyber criminals were exploiting basics weaknesses in company IT systems, Cyber Essentials sets out five technical controls which will protect firms against the majority of internet threats, like viruses, malware and hacking.

Other initiatives include a voucher scheme offering micro, small and medium sized businesses up to £5,000 for specialist advice to boost their cyber security and protect new business ideas and intellectual property.