The Government has recently launched a new Do More Online campaign aimed at helping small businesses to increase their digital skills.
Commenting, Hugh Boyes from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) said: “Whilst it is great that the Government is encouraging small businesses to do more online, the cyber security of most small business is woefully inadequate as they do not have the time, experience or resources to develop the knowledge and skills to protect their presence online.
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“A recent Trustwave report on Application Security (i.e. online applications) revealed that 96 percent of small businesses had major security defects. For SMEs to safely and securely operate online, they will need support and assistance to ensure that their web presence is secure.
“They are very unlikely to achieve this with the budget web offerings currently available from most ISPs. We recognise that the Government has launched the Cyber Essentials scheme, but this focusses on the personal IT equipment used by SMEs and small traders. It does not address the security of ISP-hosted or cloud websites, where website configuration and security are increasingly complex and either poorly addressed or not addressed at all in the budget packages typically used by SMEs.”
The IET is one of the world’s largest engineering institutions with nearly 160,000 members in 127 countries. It is also the most multidisciplinary – to reflect the increasingly diverse nature of engineering in the 21st century. Energy, transport, manufacturing, information and communications, and the built environment: the IET covers them all.
For over 140 years the IET has been inspiring, informing and influencing the global engineering community, supporting technology innovation to meet the needs of society. With the complexity and diversity of the engineering world the role of the IET is more relevant now than it ever has been.
The IET would like to build the profile of engineering and change outdated perceptions about engineering in order to tackle the skills gap. This includes encouraging more women to become engineers and growing the number of engineering apprentices.