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  • Writer's pictureJared Thompson

4 in 10 Small Businesses experienced Cyber Attacks in the last year

Four in ten micro and small businesses (38 per cent) and a quarter of charities (26 per cent) report having cyber security breaches or attacks in the last 12 months.

Two in five businesses (38 per cent) and a quarter of charities (26 per cent) report having cyber security breaches or attacks in the last 12 months, according to new figures from the Government’s 2021 Cyber Security Breaches Survey.

The survey’s report also shows that despite more small business owners saying cyber security is a high priority (77%), just 13% of smaller businesses are training their staff. It’s so important to keep your staff trained; the pandemic has seen more staff than ever working from home. And with 47% of staff using personal devices for work, the survey found just 33% have a VPN when remotely working.

Keeping digital environments secure is more challenging as organisational resources are stretched to enable home working for staff, and companies are falling behind in ensuring the right cyber securities are in place. Just 31% of micro and small businesses have a cyber security policy in place, which is down from 37% in 2020.

The government encourages businesses, charities and educational institutions to follow the free help and guidance from the UK cyber security experts at the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). It includes advice on using video conferencing, secure home working and moving your business from physical to digital. This week the CRC has updated our guidance specifically to help educators boost their cyber resilience.

“The pandemic has taken an unavoidable toll on British businesses but we cannot let it disrupt our high cyber security standards. With more people working remotely it is vital firms have the right protections in place, and I urge all organisations to follow the National Cyber Security Centre’s expert guidance so we can build back better and drive a new era of digital growth.” Digital Infrastructure Minister Matt Warman

The government clearly supports a prosperous digital economy, investing £1.9 billion to support the National Cyber Security Strategy.

How can micro and small businesses improve their cyber resilience?

cyber security guide for small businesses

Your staff must know the latest cyber security threats; we offer small businesses the chance to join us for regular events and webinars. We have also launched a new Cyber Security Guide for small businesses, so you can understand and prioritise where to protect your organisation.

Your business can also encourage your staff to sign up for our free membership, which shares the latest guidance, news and security updates tailored for businesses based in Greater Manchester and the North West.

Our Business Starter Membership, which supports your business for a 12-month, also includes Cyber Awareness Training for two staff members (if you have a bigger team, our Business Premium Membership offers a bespoke Security Awareness Training program tailored to your business.

Your staff must be educated regularly in the changing cybersecurity landscape; the CSBS survey highlighted that just 14% of businesses said they had trained staff on cybersecurity. Unprepared staff are at a heightened risk of being caught unaware when working from home, returning to the office or starting a new job.

Just 18% of micro and small businesses have heard of the NCSC’s Small Business Guide, which breaks down cyber security recommendations into individual steps and includes response and recovery guidance that outlines how to prepare, manage, resolve and report a cyber incident if one does occur.

If you are part of the 87% of micro and small businesses that haven’t heard of Cyber Essentials, we will encourage you to learn more about how achieving Cyber Essentials allows you to guard your organisation against the most common cyber threats and helps you to demonstrate your commitment to cyber resilience for your customers and staff.

Ready to prepare your staff with security awareness training? Contact us today to learn more.


How can we support your business?

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Raise your staff's awareness of phishing emails and guard your business against the growing trend of social-engineering threats.


Training your employees on what a phishing attack looks like makes them more likely to identify and report scams.

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Our training package is designed and delivered by cyber experts giving you access to the most up-to-date information in an ever-changing cyber landscape.

You can purchase single-place training spots or a cyber security workshop.

Community Members

Our premium membership package is aimed at medium-sized businesses and includes bespoke security awareness training sessions.


This allows your business to train several cyber security champions and an assessment of your cyber risk. 

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