UK government-backed scheme offers free cyber security guidance to SMEs

The Government-backed Trustworthy Software Initiative is launching ‘Trustworthy Software Essentials’ giving Britain’s small businesses free access to world-leading guidance, drawn up in consultation with universities, multinationals and government bodies, on how to reduce software flaws that are undermining SME productivity and security.

Small firms feel vulnerable to critical software glitches and cyber attacks

Many small firms are vulnerable to critical software glitches and cyber attacks because they increasingly depend on web-based tools for critical business operations but lack the knowledge, time and resources to ensure their software is designed and maintained to a high standard.

In 2015, a government report warned that Britain’s small businesses were putting a third of their revenue at risk, because of failure to take basic security precautions including updating and patching software.

Improving the UK’s ability to combat cyber risks

The Trustworthy Software Initiative is part of the UK Government’s National Cyber Security Strategy to improve the UK’s ability to combat cyber risks and ensure that the UK leads the way in trustworthy software systems and expertise.

The new guidelines will give SMEs free and easy-to-implement guidance based on input from the world’s leading authorities; from Microsoft to the Department for Business Innovation & Skills, to reduce costly software problems and cyber attacks that exploit insecure software.

Software is becoming a single point of failure for many

“As we move towards a digital economy, software is becoming a ‘single point of failure’ for many businesses. Software failures can compromise vital services upon which SMEs depend, from online payment services to customer data, while software vulnerabilities can leave them exposed to ransomware or theft of their IP. Trustworthy Software Essentials gives small businesses with little time and resources, free access to world-class guidance to ensure they have software that is safe, functions as and when it should, recovers quickly from errors and is secure against cyber attack,” Ian Howles, Executive Director, UK Testing Board, said.

The Trustworthy Software Initiative

The Trustworthy Software Initiative was established in response to UK Government investigations revealing that the widespread prevalence of poor coding practices was threatening the UK economy. It has already provided vital targeted education, standards, skills and guidance to many organisations ranging from SMEs to multinational companies and Air Traffic Control Centres across the UK.

 

Edited from press release by Cecilia Rehn.

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