Cyber Defence is vital for any business connected to the Internet

John Lyons

As the UK Chancellor makes his announcement today that the UK Government will spend £1.9Bn over the next 4 years on its latest revamp of the UK’s National Cyber Security Strategy, (representing a three-fold increase on the funding provided in 2010), let’s imagine how at grass roots level, businesses up and down the country can benefit from this renewed focus.
The first critical message for businesses is that they understand that no matter how small they are, no matter what business they’re in, no matter where they are located in the world – taking cyber defensive measures is a must-do business imperative.  And it’s not just a message for business.  If you are running a hospital, a charity or a university, indeed any entity that is connected to the Internet, you need to ensure that your organisation implements today, the very basic technical security controls that will offer good levels of cyber protection against the most common cyber threats.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the world wide web, talked this morning about delivering universal access to (government) data “Open Data”, as a means of providing citizens with real-time access to information that they need in order to make better use of the web.  What a great idea!
Imagine that you arrive in the office tomorrow morning to find that you no longer have access to your business information.  Your systems are running but you’re locked out of them by “Ransomware”.  Or that you have malicious software in your network that stops the operation of your business – no orders processed, no emails answered, no phones to answer because you have used a Voice over IP solution.  Not a pleasant thought.
For those of you who have read the earlier posts in this series – you will know what the second message is already: get on the road to the Government-backed Cyber Essentials certification programme and implement those vitally important controls that will make a huge difference to the protection of your business against cyber attacks and cyber crime.

How does an organisation mitigate up to 80% of common online cyber threats?
It’s very easy and straight forward:  Go to (all links in this blog have been checked and verified as genuine and secure) and join the thousands of other businesses and organisations that have already gained the UK Government’s Cyber Essentials Certification.  If you want to learn more before you start, have a look on You Tube – search for “thecyberhighway” and you will find a short tutorial that will explain all.

Once you have joined The Cyber Highway, a secured and protected environment that will guide and help you through the process from start to finish – the first thing you will be asked to do is to provide information about the computers, devices and other aspects of your infrastructure that you wish to protect.  Don’t be alarmed if you have no technical security expertise to call upon.  The Cyber Highway provides an abundance of tips and help to get you through the process and one help request or phone call from you, will summon an instant response from The Cyber Highway team that will get you the assistance you need if you get stuck.  Imagine calling up your favourite roadside assistance company in cyber space – the only difference is that we can get to you in a matter of minutes.
To make things easy and to help you define the “Scope” of the infrastructure that you want to defend – we provide a slick and simple way to log the information that you need to provide.  And by the way, this information need only be provided once.  Thereafter, all you need do, is update The Cyber Highway with any changes that you have made across each of the 7 aspects of your Scope:

•    the-cyber-highway-boundaryDesktop PCs and laptops
•    Smartphones and Tablets
•    Wireless devices
•    Working from Home
•    Boundary security devices such as firewalls and routers
•    Email or web servers
•    External third parties that provide you with outsourced services


The Cyber Highway user experience is second to none – it offers a painless, intuitive interface that guides you along the route to successful Cyber Essentials certification – giving you the confidence to ask the right questions of colleagues in your business or of third party providers who supply technical services to your business.  If you can’t provide the answers or the supporting evidence that is required, you will be able quickly to identify who can!

Taking the Show on the Road
In the coming weeks, we will take each of the Cyber Essentials questions and show how The Cyber Highway has adapted them to provide business users with a series of easily understood, quality statements.
Our aim is to help you take ownership of the process so that it becomes something that you realise you want to do and need to do, in order to protect your organisation against cyber attack.  It shouldn’t feel like an imposition that has been forced upon your business.  Instead, it ought quickly to become an everyday part of your business operation, one that delivers lasting benefit to you and to your customers – driving revenue your way because your clients and customers can see that you take cyber security seriously.

Just Do It!
If you want to get on with it and cost-effectively protect your business today against cyber attack – join and hit the “Start Now” button to a safer cyber future for your business.