MP, Mike Freer, raised the case of a local business in his constituency, which became a victim of a cyberattack in November, at a session of Cabinet Office questions on Wednesday, 14 December.
The reported incident led to the SME ceasing a majority of trading owing to the disruption caused by the attack for over four days, which regrettably compromised their computer system.
The experiences the company raised with Mr Freer motivated him to question the Government on what more was being done to improve protection for SMEs against cyberattacks.
Mr Freer asked the Cabinet Office Minister:
“What assessment he has made of the adequacy of the UK defences against cyberattack?”
Responding to Mr Freer’s question the Cabinet Secretary, Ben Gummer MP, said:
“The persistence and ingenuity of those who would threaten us with cyberattacks means we need to work even harder to keep pace with the threat. That’s why recently we launched our five year National Cyber Security Strategy supported by £1.9bn worth of investment in which we setup ambitious steps to respond to that increasing cyber threat.”
Mr Freer supplemented his question by asking:
“Many local firms struggle to afford the very best in cyber protection and I wonder if the Minister can explain what more the Government could do to share their expertise so local SMEs can benefit from learn from their experience .”
In response to this point, Mr Gummer said:
“It is a regrettable fact that increasingly cyber security is an essential part of normal business operations. That’s why we are trying to make it easy for small business so we have got a new cyber essentials scheme, which helps business to understand what they need to do to protect themselves; we have a cyber exchange which provides information about organisations and businesses and directory which can help small business and we also have Action Fraud which is the mechanism by which business can report malicious activity.”
Mr Freer has also raised this issue with the Minister responsible for cyber security.